From those gosh darn relationship questions, holiday strugs, and friendship drama; I’m here to answer any of those burning questions you may have about the struggle of the life of a girl. So sit back, relax, and rack your brain for anything that might be going through that pretty head of yours. Today I’m focusing on college applications.
I remember getting ready for college decision-making. It was about three months before my high school graduation and I started to panic, thinking I didn’t make the right decision in my pre-college process. So I lined up all the colleges I applied and got accepted to on my bedroom floor and went from there. With help from the following elements, I eventually made the right decision for my post-secondary school process.
1. How do I start the college application process if I’m not even sure what I want in a college/university?
A: The good thing is that there’s always time to plan and make decisions. Make a list of preferences that you have; do you prefer far away or close to home, big or small colleges, rural or in the city, private or public colleges? All of these factors are what makes the college decision process easier. Once you start a list of the things you want in a college (or the pros and cons of different variables if you’re not sure), it will make it so much easier to make a decision. Also, research colleges that pertain to what you want. Look up reviews, and if you know people going to those schools, talk to them too! I’m sure they won’t mind giving some advice!
2. What if I didn’t get that great of a score on my SAT?
A: Easy peasy girl, take it a second time! Scientific research regarding high school seniors states that the second time students take the SAT they tend to get a better score. I would suggest preparing better as well. There are multiple sites that have FREE** studying resources for students. I subscribed to get an SAT question of the day sent right to my email first thing in the morning, and it thoroughly helped with knowing all of those big words on the reading section. As long as you start studying your materials at least the two weeks before the exam, you’ll be fine.
3. So I applied, got accepted, now what?
A: Start doing your research, girly! Even if you have already gone on a tour before you applied, you are now accepted. YOU ARE NOW A PROSPECTIVE STUDENT FOR THAT SPECIFIC COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY. OWN THAT SH*T. Schedule another tour, this time sitting in on classes that pertain to your particular major. Check out the dining hall (most important part if we’re being real), or stay overnight in the dorms if you can. This way, you get a sneak peek into the look of college life right before you. If you’re into specific sports, you can meet the members of that team and the coach, maybe even join a practice. Nothing is too much; you’re planning your future, for goodness sake!
4. It’s the middle of the semester and I made my early decision, but I don’t really know what to do from here…
A: It is now time for FAFSA season. Oh gosh, the most stressful thing a girl can do. I can blatantly remember sitting at my kitchen table with my parents about to pull my hair out while doing this. But that’s okay, because here’s some tips so you don’t have to! First, REMAIN CALM. The main reason the FAFSA process was so terrible was because I got overwhelmed and stressed out so easily. Take a deep breath and say a prayer before you open up that webpage; you’ll thank me later. Second, write EVERYTHING down. You’re about to get a lot of information and make a username, password, PIN number, and even have to remember some information about your parents. Not only that, but memorize your social security number. You will have to enter it more times than you can count and it will make the process run smoother when you’re not glancing down at a piece of paper to get every digit correct. And lastly, put everything that has to do with college/FAFSA in a specific folder by itself. That way, everything is organized, neat, and ready for you when you need it.
5. I am dragging through this last semester. What are some things I can do to keep motivated before I graduate?
A: Those mid-semester blues, I feel you, girl. It’s hard to stay motivated to study and take notes, but one thing I’ve learned is to make an inspiration board for your future goals. Start small, with things like maintaining healthy habits throughout your first year of college or even taking a half hour during study breaks for yourself. Pinterest your dream dorm room and see if there are any early scholarships you can apply for! Personally, I’d rather Pin my life away than write essays, but who’s to say you can’t.
A few more general tips on surviving college applications…
6. Talk with your parents.
Seriously, talk to them to discuss any questions you may have about choosing a college, financial aid, or even roommate probs. Parents know better than anybody what is right when decision-making comes around. Trust their instincts, they know what they’re doing (even though they ask about their smartphone probs every half hour).
7. Clean up your social media accounts.
Untag those pictures that are not so flattering and maybe delete those statuses that use vulgar language. Believe it or not, some admissions counselors actually look at your social media accounts to see if you’re a good fit for their school. So clean up that Twitter feed of yours and take those Insta pics to the next level. You got dis.
8. And your email.
Relating back to the last tip, if you still have the username/email that you made when you were twelve it miiiggghhtt be time to retire that one. “Supercuterockstar97” is not super cute anymore. Change it. Please.
9. Take your time.
When writing those college application essays, make sure you take your time on them. And also, don’t use huge SAT words you wouldn’t use in everyday life. This application is about you and your strengths. Not some fancy word you googled.
10. Use resources available.
Call up someone older for help on any SAT prep you may need. I’m not talking about your grandma, but an older sibling, role model, or tutor that might have the huge $20 book that was only used once or twice. They surely bring out a new version every year, but any version made in the last five years will help.
So now that you have some tips under your belt, it’s time to put your big-girl pants on and step out into the real world of college decision-making. It’s not as frightening as it may seem, but once you figure everything out the rest will fall into place. Here’s to a new year, new year, new life.
Featured image source: tumblr.com
Andrea is a freshman at Eastern Mennonite University where she is a dual major in Business Administration and Photography. Her hobbies include making music, running her photography business, laughing, and eating ice cream. She absolutely loves anything that has to do with coffee and blogging and is looking forward to her future articles on srTrends.