Mansfield High School Online Newspaper

Tips for Applying to College

November 5, 2015

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Tips for Applying to College

Attention seniors, December is closing in and that means that the holidays are just around the corner and college applications are due soon. Here are some tips that might come in handy when taking on those frightening and stressful deadlines.

Look at the application material as soon as possible.
This includes those infamous essays you always hear about. If you are able to analyze the essay topics before the application is live, then you have more time to perfect them. Therefore, when the first day to turn in admissions arrives you won’t have to worry about those pesky narratives.

Make your essays personal and original.
Colleges like to read something that stands out and is unique. However, don’t forget about the repetitive reminders about “how to format essays” from our past English teachers. Universities expect you to know how to write an academic essay, but they are really concerned about how effective you are in demonstrating your own voice in your paper.

If you are just drowning in confusion and stress, then just ask a teacher for help.
They all went through this process and can offer some awesome insight. They can also write recommendation letters. Most colleges will accept two to three recommendation letters and these letters could be an extra opportunity to make you stand out.

Don’t overload.
Even though I mentioned that you should finish the application as early as you can, I would recommend not trying to complete it all in one night. It might be best to work on the essays one weekend and fill in the rest of the application the next weekend. If you rush the process too much, it will prevent you from producing your best work possible.

Always have a plan B.
Although you may have been a little girl or boy with the colors of your dream school in your eyes, don’t let that keep you from previewing every opportunity available. Whether it is a family legacy or a personal dream, always remember to have a college to fall back on just in case.

Visit the campus.
Going along with the tip above, I would recommend taking a visit to the university. The trip may make you reconsider your choice or it may push you to finish that application. Walking around the campus will hopefully relax your nerves and get you excited for next year.

Make a list of all of the extracurricular activities, volunteer work, and recognitions you have done/received in advance.
This part of the application process was probably the hardest part for me because I had to go back and think of anything that I had done or been apart of. My advice to you would be to make a list and just write down everything you have done. That way once you reach this part of the application, you won’t be stuck and it will get you closer to hitting that submit button.

Apply for scholarships too.
If you have your application knocked out, it might not be a bad idea to apply for scholarships as well. The sooner that you are able to turn all of it in, the less stress you will feel later on. Which ultimately means more Netflix and focusing on living out your senior year.

Lastly, make sure everything is submitted.
You filled the whole application in and rocked those essays, but when December rolls around it turns out you forgot something. Make sure to either check with the school or website you turned your application into, just to make sure that you are all set and that you have all the components needed. With that being said, good luck to all of the seniors applying for college this year.

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