The dreaded college apps season is drawing nigh! Seniors all over the nation are scrambling to meet with their counselors before initiating the tedious, grueling process of applying to colleges. Applications are probably the last thing you want to do right now. But, it’s absolutely essential that you get them done as soon as possible. Follow these tips and tricks to make the whole process that much easier:
- Stay Ahead of the Game
Get a head-start on your college applications as soon as you possibly can. That way, you give yourself more time to review each application thoroughly, which significantly reduces your chances of error and more time to make appropriate changes. If you’d like, you could also try getting it done part by part. Starting early gives you the benefit of spending time going through each portion of your apps in greater detail. This approach would also give you more chances to catch your mistakes early on in the process. And you eliminate the stressful feeling of being crunched on time. With all of this in mind, you’ll find your whole application process experience to be remarkably smoother than most of your peers.
PRO-TIP: When asking for a letter of recommendation, it’s considered thoughtful to ask whomever is writing the letter in advance! They most likely have a lot on their plate, as well. Ask as early as possible, but you want to try to give them at least a month or two to get it done. This way, you’re acknowledging their personal schedule and giving them enough time to write a rockin’ letter of recc!
- Organization is Key
There’s a lot of work that goes into the whole college app process. You’ve got to manage pretty much everything you did in high school including your grades, essays, and SAT/ACT scores, just to name a few. Not to mention the numerous deadlines regarding varying requirements for all of the colleges you’re applying to. It can be undoubtedly overwhelming for any high school senior. With that being said, your biggest solution is organization. It is extremely important that you keep a record of every single detail, down to the dot. Keep track of the dates and what documents are required. It can be really easy to forget to send a few documents, sign something, or even an important deadline. Ultimately, just write everything down. It may seem like a grueling process at first, but you won’t be able to thank yourself enough in the future for taking the time to do so now.
Along with organization, you want to take things slowly. This is not a process that you should rush, otherwise unforgiving mistakes could be made. So, take things one step at a time. Maybe focus on sending out all your SAT scores, then work on your essays. Whichever element you choose to focus on first doesn’t really matter, just try to avoid bouncing around different components and you’ll be on the right track.
- Help is Always Available
The procedure of applying to college can be overwhelming and confusing. If you find that you don’t know how to approach something, don’t be afraid to utilize your resources! You have more help than you need ready to assist you. One of the best sources of assistance is your school counselors. Every year they have students that come in asking the same questions as you. They are readily equipped to help you with any aspect of the application process. Another source would be your teachers. They might not be as well-equipped as your guidance counselors, but they can definitely provide valuable insight and point you in the right direction. Google is one of the best friends you can make in life. While some of your personalized questions may not be answered, your general questions should have been answered on college forums or discussion platforms. If all else fails, pick up your phone and call the admissions center! They should be able to help you with your specific or general questions. Just don’t be afraid to ask questions, because you don’t have to go through the college application process alone.