College Advice For The MHS Class of 2014

While I’ve been a freshman at New York University for nearly three months now, I haven’t forgotten what it took to get me here: the college application process. It feels like just yesterday that I was up in my kitchen, sitting at my counter, in front of my computer at 1:00 a.m., reworking and rewriting draft after draft of my Common Application essay and various supplements for multiple colleges.

College advice to ease the process.

It was a long, tedious and excruciating process that I wouldn’t repeat even if someone paid me millions of dollars. However, it’s a necessity if you want to further your education, so sucking it up and pushing through is what you have to do. But to make undertaking such a feat slightly easier, here’s some college advice from myself and my graduated classmates.

College advice to follow is don’t leave anything to the last minute. The deadlines, especially those for regular decision which aren’t until January, seem so far away, but don’t let that allow you to procrastinate. Get your applications done now because waiting until the day before it’s due won’t help. College applications require time; essays and supplements must undergo multiple drafts and that’s something that just can’t be done the day before it is due. Additionally, putting off the applications will create a lot of stress for when you actually have to do them.

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“Senior year is fun but don’t let that keep you from getting your applications done,” said class of 2013 alumni Eric Silverstein who is currently a freshman at the University of Maryland. “Waiting until the last minute to won’t help. You can have all the fun you want at college for the next four years, but in order to do that you have to get your applications done.”

Another extremely important college advice is being yourself on the applications. Many students feel that because getting into college is so competitive that they can’t be themselves, but this isn’t the case. Don’t try to make yourself seem a way that you’re not. A lot of admissions counselors want to see you for who you actually are.

“Be honest when you’re doing your applications,” advised Danny DeSimone, a freshman at Johns Hopkins University. “Don’t just write what you think the admissions counselors want to hear, because most of the time it’s actually not what they want.”

While writing isn’t many people’s forte, taking the essay seriously is extremely important. The essay is one of the few places in the college application process that you can truly express yourself and distinguish yourself from others, not just in your GPA. It’s important that when writing the essay, you write about something that makes you seem interesting and different, and not just like everyone else. Admissions counselors read hundreds of generic essays everyday about volunteer trips to Peru or an uncle with a drug addiction, so switch it up. Write about a crazy moment that you feel defined you or why you think you’re exactly like your favorite fictional character – admissions counselors will appreciate it.

Finally, the college advice is to keep in mind that getting into college isn’t easy and that, if you don’t get into your first choice, it’s not the end of the world. Tons of kids get rejected from their first choice, and even their second and third choice colleges. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. It says nothing about you as a person, and a lot of the time, has nothing to do with you as a student.

“The whole college acceptance process is so very random,” said DeSimone. “You have no clue what each school is looking for so even though you feel qualified it really depends on what counselor is reading your stuff or what the school wants at the time. It’s for this reason that you really can’t take any rejection personally.”

While the process may make you want to rip your hair out, it’s important to stick with it. That’s an essential college advice to follow. While the filling out of the Common Application is dreadful, and the writing and the revising of the essays stinks, and the wait gives you heart palpitations, it’s so very, very worth it. There’s nothing like opening up an acceptance letter and seeing your future, right there, in front of you.

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