How To Apply To Colleges

In the beginning of my senior year in high school, I did not know where to begin to apply to colleges. Just thinking about college made me break out into cold sweats. I worked very hard in high school and going to a decent out-of-state school was not a option… It was a requirement. I knew I wanted to leave the suburbs, and I dreamt of moving into a big city ever since I was a freshman.

This post is dedicated to the high school senior who is in planning on applying to a variety of schools and simply does not know where to begin!

1. Research Multiple Universities
Based on your average test scores (SAT/ACT, AP exams, etc…), GPA, and overall performance and involvement in school activities, look into colleges you want to attend, can probably get admitted to, and some IN BETWEEN. This is very important. You don’t want to limit your options, so please look into all of these categories. Make a list of colleges. If you have trouble narrowing your options, choose three from each category and imagine you are applying to those schools.

2. Never Stop Thinking About Your Common App Essays
If I’m being totally honest, I think my essays are what really solidified my acceptance at multiple universities. The essays you write for college are so, so important! I love them because they allow you to express yourself in a way that cannot be seen through your grades and test scores. Think about your passions, interests, and experiences. What makes YOU unique? What sets you apart from others? Be yourself; be honest. You are selling yourself to the admission office, so bring out your best qualities. If you don’t know what to write about, make multiple drafts. When I was writing my essays, I wrote tons and tons of mini essays. I knew I found my writing topic when it started becoming somewhat easy to write. I felt comfortable with the topic I chose because it was me and not someone I was pretending to be.
Here’s a link to one of the many sites I used for inspiration. I channeled my inner-Johns Hopkins genius when I was writing my essays. DO NOT FUCKING PLAGIARIZE! You will get caught, and it’s dumb! Pls. These essays will help you understand the kind of tone and quality the admission officers are looking for. Do you see how every student is different but also charming in their own way?

3. Know Your Deadlines
Especially if you’re applying to 5+ (I applied to 13) colleges, utilize a calendar of some sort. There are so many things you need to remember when you’re applying to colleges. Sending your transcripts to the counselor, sending mid-year reports, application deadlines, etc… Keep track of all your shit. Keep everything together. Be organized! You don’t want to end up not going to your dream school simply because you missed their deadline now do you? That would suck, and I know plenty of people who have done it.

4. Apply Apply Apply
Apply to as many schools as you can! Like I said before I would apply to a few dream schools, realistic schools, and a couple backup schools. You really never know where you will get in, and you’d be surprised. Trust me, I was! I got into schools I was certain would reject me, and I got rejected from schools that I was pretty confident about. Every school is different, and they’re looking for different kinds of students. Sometimes rankings can be very misleading. Another mistake I have seen my peers make is applying to their top 2 schools, not getting in, and ending up at a pretty shitty backup school. Please, please apply to schools that are “in-between”.

5. Don’t Stress…. Too Much
Get your shit done, and enjoy your senior year. It’s your last year of being a kid! I loved my senior year, and getting into my dream school was one of the highlights. But there was so much I experienced in my last year of high school, I made some kickass friends and did some kickass things. Even if you don’t get into the college of your heartaching desires, you will be okay. Every college has its own charm. I have faith that you really will end up being where you belong!

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