How to Survive the College Admissions Process

by Meghna Kumar

As the end of the school year approaches and seniors anxiously await their admissions decisions so that they can finally be relieved of the stress of college admissions, juniors draw nearer and nearer to the process. This taxing time can be intimidating and often leaves students frustrated and complaining that admissions decisions are random and that no one can succeed. But the decision process is neither random nor impossible. And here are the three most important tips on how to survive the admissions process unscathed:

1. Start early! You don’t have to start writing your college essays immediately, but it’s a good idea to review essay prompts for the Common App (or the Universal Application) and essay prompts for any supplements required by each individual college you are applying to. Make sure you have some ideas for your essays before school starts so that you aren’t scrambling to put things together at the last minute. Many of Bellbrook’s English teachers actually give their seniors class time to write college essays, and if you are given this opportunity, definitely take advantage of it. Keep in mind that once school starts, you will have copious amounts of homework to fret over, in addition to your applications. Completing some parts, such as the family information portion of the application, could relieve some stress down the line.

2. Choose colleges that fit you and your interests. Decide which colleges you want to apply to over the summer. It’s also a good idea to look up colleges that are ranked well for your intended major. When considering where you want to spend your next four years, make sure to consider the atmosphere of student life at your future alma mater, but make sure your sole criterion for selecting the school is not based upon your friends; prioritize your education and find an institution that will suit your individual interests and pursuits. Senior Anna Starkey, a future Zoology and Art double major, chose the Ohio State University for its networking possibilities. Starkey says, “I think it’s one of the best colleges in Ohio and the network of alumni has the potential to help me find a job once I graduate.”

3. Be aware of deadlines! Colleges have different application deadlines and different scholarship deadlines. All these different dates can get confusing and are easy to miss. Putting the dates into the calendar on my phone helped me keep track of when my applications were due. Having the application ready for submission before the due date will give you extra time to revise and edit mistakes and ensure that you are representing yourself in the best way possible to the admissions committee.

Although filling out applications can seem like the most nerve-racking part of senior year, it can be manageable. Applying to colleges may not be easy, but everyone who tries makes it through to at least one college.

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