It’s around 11 p.m. and my hot chocolate has turned to a glass of cold chocolate milk. I sit at my cluttered desk frantically typing whatever comes to mind while the bags under my eyes act like weights bringing my head to an aching angle. I hear fireworks outside as the rest of my neighborhood celebrates the New Year. The whole time I’m cursing myself for not having done this sooner. Minecraft wasn’t the best use of my time, and a huge English project wasn’t helping.
Every year, thousands of high school seniors around the country submit their college applications and spend months waiting for their replies in the most stressful period of their high school careers. I currently await decisions and will post acceptances as I hear back.
For the concerned soccer moms and high school juniors/seniors scanning this as they take a break from whatever homework assignment they’re not doing anyway (admit it), I have composed a list of things I wish I had known.
I really shouldn’t have waited so long to start my Common App essay. There was honestly no good reason I didn’t start during the summer. Common Application comes out in the summer. You should get started right away, because it gets really tedious around 3 a.m. And occasionally the website crashes.
Test scores are a big chunk of your applications and many colleges don’t consider you until they receive scores. Definitely check your dream school’s testing requirements. A list of colleges that want SAT Subject Tests is here.
Write a rough copy of your essay, trash it, repeat. There are always improvements that can be made.
I went through about eight drafts until I got something I was satisfied with. The final draft should be within the word limit proposed. Some essays, mainly writing supplements, are to written in ranges from around 300-500 words, so you should be wary of these things.
Get your essay read by someone who can take the time to read it and give you an honest evaluation. Teachers and admissions counselors, as well as friends that go to the colleges you applied to are good proofreaders. Eliminate any errors you can.
Now, after you’ve gotten everything together, pressed the Submit button, and turned off your computer, remember that you’re not done yet.
Fill out your FAFSA . Year after year, kids miss out on savings they shouldn’t because they didn’t file. Check each school’s own financial aid requirements. In addition to FAFSA, schools may require CSS/PROFILE and documents to be mailed to them directly.
You’ve made it through about three and a half years, so you should be able to survive a few more months. Remember, you need to keep your grades up for Midyear Reports and some colleges you applied to may carry out interviews. Here are a few things to keep you occupied.