Courtesy of marshallmashup.usc.edu
As a high school senior myself, whenever I hear the word ‘college’, thousands of words automatically race through my head. Applications, acceptances, deadlines; the list seems to continue on. But, in all fairness the college application process was less painful than I ever imagined it to be.
Personally, my college application process began over the summer, when I took a course on how to write a college essay. That essay would be sent to every single college I applied to. I went into the course extremely nervous about how I was going to think of a topic for an essay that would wow any admission counselor who laid their eyes on it.
Over the progression of the course, I realized that finding a topic was easier than I sought it out to be. Instead of following the standards of the typical narrative essay, these essays serve as a way for your admission counselors to ‘meet’ you. It is important to keep in mind that the essay should reflect you as a person.
After I completed my college essay, I began to compile a list of colleges that I wanted to apply to. In the beginning, I had about sixteen prospective colleges that I thought I wanted to attend. However, in order to ensure these colleges are the right fit, it is important for you, the applicant, to do your own research.
Not long after compiling my list of sixteen colleges, I researched every college and examined them under a careful eye. To be sure that this college was the right fit for me, I ensured that each college had my major, offered scholarships or financial aid, had a career service center and had clubs and activities to get involved in.
To my surprise, about six of the colleges I had originally thought I wanted to attend failed to even offer my major of choice or had a reputable career services center. A career services center plays a crucial role in helping students get internships or jobs. After my research, my list consisted of around eight schools that appeared to offer everything I wanted.
From here, I went on to visit most of these eight schools, hoping to get a feel for what it would be like if one day I would be a student, hustling across the quad to get to my next class. Each campus possessed a unique quality about it, whether it be positive or negative, and I believe it is crucial for a potential student to visit the colleges he or she decides to apply to so they can ask themselves, ‘Can I picture myself here?’.
Following the campus visits, I began to complete the information on the Common Application, an online application that many colleges and universities utilize in order to process undergraduate applications electronically. This part of the application process included several questions about your family, education, extracurricular activities, your college essay, as well as any other writing pieces the college or university asks for.
Finally, the most anticipated stage of my college application process arrived, the submission. After double-checking all my application material, editing my essays and paying for the application, a little red box appeared on my screen, and with one click and a sigh of relief, the application process had finally concluded.