Dear High School Seniors,

If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed about the college application process, don’t worry I was in that same place. As a high school senior, I was trying to balance out my academics, extracurriculars and personal life all at once while applying to colleges. I’m here to give you a few tips I learned from after the process and how I survived. 

When you are writing down your college essays and submitting them, you don’t have to focus on writing a very sophisticated essay with big words the first time you are typing it. Write like you are talking to your friend or your college counselor, it will ease the stress and you’ll actually have something written within five minutes. Then, after finishing the essay, go in and read it without fixing any grammar, just adding things you forgot to mention or you want to add in. After, have a peer read it or a teacher, and they can help you with grammar and how to make your essay flow better. After the peer-review an making the edits. Read it out loud and fill in the gaps you find, sometimes reading it out loud can help you find errors in your essay. Don’t go in too much detail, summarize your ideas and structure your paragraphs well make sure there is smooth transitions from paragraph to paragraph. 

Also remember you don’t have to make different essays for every application unless you want to and if specific schools requires another.

Now how I managed my life as a high school senior with high responsibilities is I took it day by day, and I know you hear a lot of people say that but it’s true. I did stress and was overwhelmed from time to time, but when I found myself stuck I would ask for help or read someone’s essay to give me some inspiration. I dread writing essays and knowing that these were going to be submitted to college really made me more nervous. Luckily, my high school had a college application seminar class, and we learned about the college application process and took the time to apply and write essays during that period which most high schools don’t have. We started writing our essays our junior year, so a little tip you should give your friends who are juniors is to start typing essays NOW, cause it will decrease the amount of things you have to do during senior year. And when senior year comes all you have to do is correct some errors and submit. I made sure that when I had free time especially during school, that I will do homework, finish up applications, go to tutorials if I needed to, etc. before I had to do other things after school. I played sports and will get out of practice really late and especially on days we had away games (that was honestly something that relieved the stress and distracted me). I enjoyed playing sports and participating on plays, going to events to enjoy my moments as a high school student. Find every distraction you ca find to take a break from reality, it won’t put you off track as long as you know when to get back to work. Start doing things ahead of time so that when you take these necessary breaks you can get back to them and finish up.

Something I wish I would’ve known, is to not get beat down by colleges who don’t accept me. I got denied to my dream school, but honestly it would’ve been a hard pathway knowing how big the school is and unaffordable, and those are areas I have high priority for a school. Also if a school offers you a free fly-in program after your acceptance, you should take that opportunity to visit and get to know the campus community. Don’t be afraid to take risks or any great opportunity and challenge, because it can always be helpful to you somehow.