What I Wish I Knew About The College Application Process
Pretty recently I had to go through the whole college application process. It wasn’t easy, and required lots of time and effort. That being said, it was really worthwhile and I’m glad I gave it my all. However, there were a few things that I wished I had known. Here’s a short list that I had written right after my college admission process.
Extracurriculars: you don’t need 20 activities. Make a list of what you might be interested in. Think about how the things on your list could be (if they are not already) an extracurricular activity that you could do on a regular basis. E.g. really like snowboarding? Create a snowboarding club. Try the activities out. If you find you’re bored, drop it. Try something else. I found that the activities (LINK Crew or volunteering at an animal shelter) I did just to fill up space on the list were actually the least interesting to college admission officers because everyone does them. If you enjoy doing it, then do it, but don’t feel pressured to do anything in particular.
You don’t need perfect ACT/SAT scores or grades to get into a good school. Just try your hardest.
You don’t need to take a class your really don’t want to in high school just to get into a good school (I only took 3 yrs of math).
You don’t really have to worry about college stuff until the end of junior year (other than keeping up your grades and doing a few extracurriculars you like)
It’s important to know what sort of school you want to go to (big, urban, in your home state, etc.) because it really helps you narrow down your choices. If you don’t have a clue, try to visit a few very different schools.
Financial aid stuff is hard. If you can, have your parents do it. (FAFSA for everyone, CSS Profile for private schools). Submit your financial aid stuff prior to when the college app is due.