College Looms Nearer, Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Be Nervous

Anjali Badesha (12th), Reporter

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Oh senior year, the momentous occasion, the game changer, the year that every student looks forward to. There are the big trips, the excitement, and the burden of college applications that threaten to suffocate innocent young adults. Although the words “college applications” cause stress and anxiety to wage a savage war within the mind, believe it or not, the process is not so bad. College applications can go from world-ending to barely life-changing with a few simple tips.

Although your high school years may have been spent perfecting your ability to procrastinate, now is not the time to do so. Saving applications until the very last second will guarantee all negative emotions to come flowing into the body, resulting in a phenomenon students refer to as “panic mode”.

The key to success is to start early. As early as possible. College Board recommends completing applications and submitting them at least two to three weeks earlier than the deadline, which of course will vary based on schools.

Starting early is the first step in the ladder of success. The second? Staying consistent. There is nothing worse than starting an application and then not finishing it. In order to relieve soap-opera-level drama, make sure to finish every application before starting a new one. Why start something new if you have yet to finish what was previously started, right?

Some schools will even allow students to fill out one application and send them to multiple schools! Not only with starting and finishing must one stay consistent, but with all the information as well. Please, please, please keep all information consistent. There is nothing worse than having an application rejected because the actual information did not match up with the application. Consistency is as good as gold when it comes to filling out applications.

Staying neat and organized is another biggie when it comes to filling out applications. Not only is it important to have a friend or family member triple-check everything prior to submission, but copies should be made of applications just in case there is a bump in the road. The best way to stay organized is to write down all important dates in a calendar or set a reminder on your phone. That way, when the time comes, you will be prepared and ready to go.

Create a checklist of all things needed when filling out the application so it is ready beforehand and time will not be wasted trying to find all of these items. (I recommend using this website for further information).

Yes, the application process will be met with groans and grumbles, but the easiest way to reduce the burden is by visiting campuses if given the chance. Actually seeing the location will help narrow down what schools are the best fit for you. Don’t like big cities? Then San Francisco might not be the best choice. Don’t like the fog?  Feel free to rule out Monterey.

Just knowing the location of a school can make a difference between “yes, I will spend hours filling out an application” to “no, I do not want to waste my time.” If a tour does not fit into time frame, then check out the school’s website or get advice from teachers or counselors. Either way, knowing a little bit about the school will help in deciding if the application is worth the filling.

Lastly, the most important thing that can be done when filling out an application is to relax. Will it be stressful? Yes. Will stressing about it ease the stress? Probably not. Remember that everyone is in the same boat! Teachers, friends, family, and counselors are around and, chances are, willing and able to aid in the process.

It may be an intense couple of weeks, but once it is over, it is over. For good. Many have done it, and so can you!

College applications are a must, but follow these tips and your brain won’t bust.

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