To Apply or Not To Apply

Arianna Benitez, Crown Writer and Photographer

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All over the nation juniors and seniors in high school are preparing for a brand new adventure: college. It is a long and tiring journey with monsters to conquer at every turn, like the ACT and college essays. Students everywhere are overwhelmed with this quest, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. With the proper research and the correct tools, every student can feel more confident during this tricky process. This is a simple guideline to follow to ensure you are prepared for this daunting quest.

The first tool is research. When preparing a college application it is best to know what that college is expecting. Every college is different, so make sure to do research on each school and take note of what they want. Some important things to be aware of are the college’s deadline dates; whether they need SAT or ACT scores; how many letters of recommendation they require; if they have an interview process; whether they require a resume; or if they have a school-specific application to fill out. Most colleges will use the common application but always double-check on anything you are not sure of. Better to be safe than to be sorry. 

 

In addition to researching your school, a great asset that everyone has is their student counselor. Schedule a time to meet and talk with them about how your application process is going. Marian Central college counselor, Mr. Stamakos, comments on how speaking to counselors can help with growing nerves, “The more people are in here and the more they’re talking about college stuff, the less anxiety they have about [college].” Student counselors are great people to ask if you need information and don’t know where to look. Let them help you set up a plan on how to go about applying, they can make this process easier in the long run.

 

Applying for college is a long and tough process, so it’s best to start ahead of time. Ask for letters of recommendation early. Salamatako says to ask two months in advance to give teachers time to write. It’s best to keep a folder specifically for college application information to keep yourselves organized and make sure to never throw anything away. Senior, Mary Narusis (12), has already begun her journey and when reminiscing about her process she said,  “I think the hardest part about applying is trying to remember everything.” Being organized and attentive while applying is beneficial to help keep track of all your information. Also, see if the schools you are applying to have interviews and make sure to practice for them; your counselor is a good person to ask if you don’t know what to expect. Once you’ve finally submitted your application make sure to contact the college a few days later to ensure they have received it, this helps show the college you are excited and interested in their school. 

 

When beginning this journey it is best to take your time and thoroughly research your college’s process. A common mistake some students make is applying for early access and committing when they aren’t sure that school is for them. This adventure is a process, one that is unique to you. Researching your school, talking to your counselor, and keeping track of time is only a few of the many ways to prepare for this journey. Gather your tools at your pace and then take the first step in this exciting new direction. 

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