The bane of most Jefferson seniors’ existences, college applications seem to haunt the greater part of the first semester of senior year. For some students, getting started is the hardest part. For others, it’s the sheer amount of essays that is headache-inducing. On top of all of this, there’s the constant anxiety about getting rejected. And yet, applying to college does not have to be that stressful.
Despite what some say, the magic formula does not require all of the essays to be finished by the end of summer. It would definitely help to have looked at them, but by no means is it necessary, or even helpful, to complete every single paper by the time school rolls around. Instead, the Common Application (Common App) essay is a good place to focus during any summer college preparations.
Arguably the most important essay of the bunch, the Common App essay is the place to start. There are only a few colleges that are not on the Common App system. As a result, a solid but not robotic essay is one of the most important parts of college applications.
Additionally over the summer, it would be wise to finish the details and form-filling that comes with applications. While it is not a difficult task to enter information such as education and activities, it is tedious and not something that needs to be added to the workload of first semester senior year.
So as the school year rolls around, supplement essays become more important. Whether the deadline is in November or not until January, it is a solid plan to get to work on the supplements gradually, as school progresses. Many schools’ supplements are quite short and as a result look for quality instead of quantity – something that can only be achieved over time. And even for schools with longer supplemental essays, no one wants to spend all of Dec. 31 in a panic to finish, let alone perfect, an essay.
The overarching theme of college applications seems to be one word: stress. Many Jefferson students worry about being rejected by their top choices or not getting into any Ivy League schools. While these are clearly valid concerns, much of the tension can be alleviated by the simple task of finding safety and target schools that fit a student well.
Like with many things in life, pacing and letting loose can be incredibly helpful parts of applying to college. While being rejected from your top choice school may be upsetting, you will probably enjoy college no matter where you end up. So go ahead, make the most out of senior year, but make sure to pace yourself along the way.
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