Advice from our Seniors
College: one of the most terrifying words that can be spoken to a high schooler during their junior year. What causes such panic at one word? Is it the fear of not getting into your first-choice college, not being smart enough, not getting the scholarship you want, not acing your SAT’s, or simply not coming off as a superhuman in your applications? Every year juniors across the world struggle and fight anxiety as they prepare to head off to college. Evidence tells us that the majority of college students live through the application process, so what is the secret? Below I have gathered thoughts, opinions, and advice from our graduating seniors on what they wish they had known, or what they came to realize during the application process to hopefully remedy the junior college fever.
Jessica Almos – Advice I wish I was given:
– Find a safety school that you really like that you can apply to EA (Early Action). I wish I had that feeling of security of “I am officially going to college!” That being said, also remember that you WILL get into college. The college counseling team and your advisor will help you find a list of colleges that you will love and will thrive in. Just make sure that you have a variety of safeties, targets, and reaches.
– Take advantage of the college counseling team. They are here to help!
– Only apply to schools that you like. What’s the point of spending $70 to apply to a school that you know you will hate? Although, if a school offers you a fee waiver or has no application fee, there’s no harm in applying!
– Don’t apply to too many schools. You can only attend one of them, so try to narrow your list down if possible.
– Write supplementals ahead of time! Don’t wait until the week they are due to start them. The sooner you get them done, the easier it is to edit them until they are absolute perfection and show you at your best.
– If financials are a concern, apply for as many scholarships as you can as early as you can. Some scholarships are open as early as junior year, so if you have time during the summer, check out some websites that are hubs for scholarships. I know a girl who paid for her entire four years at UNR solely with scholarships that were under $1000. Even if a scholarship is only $100, apply! Chances are you will get it automatically because no one else is applying!
– Be realistic, but also have faith in yourself. Safety schools are not the same as target schools (talk to Ms. VW personally about what is a safety and a target specifically for you), so be sure to have both. Don’t limit yourself based on acceptance rates, you never know if a school will love you as much as you love them!
– Prepare for the SAT/ACT sooner rather than later. It’s one of those things where you just need to get it out of the way as soon as possible, and once it’s gone you will feel a lot better.
– When writing supplements, be sure to mention something specific in the school if they ask questions like “Why our school? What will you study here?” They love it when you compliment their programs, just give them as many ego boosts as you can while simultaneously bragging about how awesome you are.
If you have questions about ANY aspect of the application process please come and ask me!
Lastly, Jessica and Cayleigh Capaldi emphasize that incoming seniors should live in the moment and enjoy every minute of being a senior, because it flies by!
“Juniors, even though the college process seems daunting, I promise it’s not that bad. Think of it as an extra class where you have assignments (but don’t procrastinate this homework!) and due dates. It’s important to appreciate your time at school with all of your friends, because before you know it, it will be over. Senior year seems to drag on forever, until you come in for second semester and they start measuring the height line for graduation and you realize that your time here is coming to a close. Don’t let the stress of getting into college hinder your time here.” – Jessica Almos.
“My advice to the lovely Juniors would be to try to take as much stress out of the college process as possible. You are destined to attend the college that is right for YOU. Also, dealing with rejection can feel like an extremely hard task. But, always remember, no matter what a college or a scholarship or a program says, it changes nothing about the value of your character, your astonishing accomplishments, and how hard you have worked to get to where you are now. If you put in the effort and the hard work now, it will absolutely pay off in the long (or not-so-long!) run!” – Cayleigh Capaldi