Applying to College 2018

Applying to College 2018

August 23, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


So at the beginning of my college
process it was – it was, it was intimidating at first. Well, I feel like, I
really wasn’t prepared at all. I didn’t even have so much of an idea of what I
was sort of doing when I was looking at colleges. When I began the process I kind
of felt hesitant to talk about it because I kind of liked to live in the
now. And I don’t really want to think about the future too much. It was kind of
a scary thing to think about where you’re gonna be for the next four years
your life. I had older friends but we’re like going
through the college process and I necessarily didn’t know like as much as
I know about it right now. I was very overwhelmed because I plan to be a music
major, so there’s a lot more steps involved. At the beginning, I was a little
unsure where to start because there’s a lot to do. but what you got to do is you got to
approach each thing like one at a time. I think one word that really describes how
I was feeling throughout the entire process is just excited. So when I was
introduced to the idea of like a good fit, I considered like a few factors one the like definitely the environment like the
campus. I don’t know how to explain it but it’s some like feeling you get when
you step on a campus and you’re like, “Okay, this is cool. I like it here.” or like
“I don’t know. Something about this just really makes me not want to come here.” Personally, I have that right fit feeling at multiple schools. So a lot of people
talk about they went to this one school and they absolutely fell in love with it
and then they knew immediately that they were gonna go there, and I didn’t have
that. For me, I would have to arrange a private lesson with the professor of
flute at whatever university or conservatory. And then if I like that
professor then I would really consider about doing an audition there. And I also
tested out a pre-college program at one
college
knew from that moment that it was the and I really liked it and I just knew from that point it was right fit for me. And also like a big
factor is price as well. Obviously, like if you get merit
aid or better tuition some places that can also help like sway. I applied to
only three schools so for me the list wasn’t very big to begin with but what
really helped me was going to visit them because for me I couldn’t really know
for sure if it was gonna be the right fit until I was actually there. I’m kind
of person that is I’m when I’m walking on a campus and I was like, “Oh, this is
perfect. I could definitely go here.” and I did that like I think almost every
single school I visited I was like, “This is it This is the one.” It was very simple
straightforward and it also organized like all my colleges too which was very
helpful. once you just get on the common app just start getting the ball rolling
start looking at colleges slowly and it just becomes it becomes easier and
easier. The common app is long it’s very long. It’s not fun but it’s something that almost all schools require, so you need to do it. I think that the common
app was good in the sense that it really expedited the process because a lot of
these schools want the same information I really liked it I also had to go
through different processes since I was applying to art school it was very
useful for only half of my schools though because the other half I had to
fill out their own application but it made the process so much easier because
it would have taken forever the common apps really easy um it asks you a lot of
really simple questions like it’s almost mindless filling it out like you just
have to put you know a lot of family information information about yourself I
applied to schools in California and the UC system has it’s totally different
application even though it’s tedious really focus hard on it and just get
done early get it done right when it opens so on August 1st I went in I did
all of the like typical where do you live what are your parents do what’s
your name information in one day I think it took me like three hours to do that
well my parents first mentioned my college essay they what went through my
head is like oh god I had to do another huge essay but then they told me how
long it actually was and it didn’t seem too bad write about what you want to
write about not what you think people want you
to write about be authentic because no matter what you write if it’s something
that you are truly passionate about that will come off to the colleges and then I
started over the summer with my essay writing and I would highly recommend
like planning ahead and getting your stuff done early just in case something
comes up and that way you just don’t have to stress about it for me I wanted
to incorporate what not only what a college looks for but what makes me who
I am the way I sort of went about writing it was I just wrote a couple
essays about different parts of my personality that weren’t really shown in
my my application and then I went from there I chose my favorite one and I
think it gave a nice more complete picture of Who I am
so for me all three of the schools that I applied to used completely different
applications so it wasn’t like I could write a college essay that I could use
for all of my schools every single school had different prompts and they
all have different requirements for length and what was supposed to go in
them I just started formula it’s formulating ideas and brainstorming
around it and then I started to think of this idea of like positivity and working
around situations so that really helped me to create the message that I thought
of times in my life where positivity has really helped and conquered all one I
got my essay done early I got it out of the way which looking back on that right
now is huge because if I was like had to do that at when senior year started like
it just wouldn’t have it just wouldn’t have been good like it would have added
so much stress I’m really happy that I got it done like during the summer for
teachers that I chose to write my letter recommendation I wanted to pick people
who like I not only did very well in the class in but also who I had you know
some sort of some sort of personal relationship with their teachers who I
felt had gotten to know me well over the year so from my rec letter since I take
such an importance in extracurriculars I wanted the teacher who not only knew me
in school is a good student but had done stuff out of school with me and then I
also asked my math teacher because I’ve never done very well in math and
like recently I guess like because I really tried hard and I think that’s
important to ask a teacher who you don’t really do well in that subject but you
try really hard because they’ll see your effort and it’s really important that
colleges see that too so I just chose teachers that I really love their
classes and I think that they enjoyed having me in it like classes where the
teacher a guy felt connection with the teacher and that they really might cost
the place I wanted to be I think it’s a good idea to pick two teachers one in
the field that you’re interested in and one that you just have a good
relationship with definitely my suggestion would be to pick teachers who
who know you who you have a connection with who you who you go who you speak
with who you kind of just go after school and converse with if you do that
but I did do them I would highly recommend doing them if it’s optional
which it most likely is because it shows the school that you’re really interested
they can be fun if you get person that fits you it can be really interesting
you can talk a lot about not only yourself but they can provide insight is
what would you would like in the school not just like we have a great biology
program they can tell you stuff that’s not on their website and that’s what’s
really special about an alumni interview my experience with with them was
something like I didn’t expect because I’ve like prior to having you know
alumni interviews I had a lot of job interviews so I kind of assumed that
alumni interviews would be very similar to like my job interviews where it’s
just kind of like less conversational more direct like okay how experienced
are you in this and why should I have you join this College alumni interviews
are like nothing like that a lot of schools don’t pressure you into doing
them I know some schools do but the ones that I applied to I definitely didn’t
make it sound like it was like a really necessary thing to do and they were
awesome there’s ask you a question about like why do you want to go to this
school like what makes us the right fit for you like we were talking about
earlier and I just think it’s really cool to be able to talk to them and it
really helps you I would do as many college interviews as you can because it
really helps you get a feel for the school and the vibe that it has I think
the important thing to know is that it doesn’t matter that much I can’t like
it’s not gonna make you knock it into score probably make you get
to school like by that much unless you completely bomb that which you’re not
going to do because the people want to talk to you yeah knowing what I know now
I probably start earlier working on everything stick to a more rigid
schedule I was a little overwhelmed with the amount of supplement essays that I
had to do it caught me by surprise a few schools had more supplement essays than
I thought they would there were points where I finished applications and then
at the at the last second I started to realize like I don’t actually want to go
here so many things that you wouldn’t expect to cost money cost money earlier
in the year I broke my leg so it was harder for me the tour schools so like I
didn’t really get a feel of what schools I wanted I guess it was just learning to
manage your time look that was something that I was really improving on
throughout this whole process I think the most important thing is just taking
the entire process as just learning about yourself
I feel like this process it can be stressful but the reason why is because
you care so much I would definitely say make deadlines for yourself and it’s
never also is never too early to start the application process be prepared like
start planning ahead because I can’t tell you how many of my friends were so
stressed out like come like September October about College jobs so if I could
go back and you know switch one thing I would I would push everything back I
would have done my essays a little earlier I would have prepared for my
audition a little earlier and you know I would have been sad to go a little I
definitely feel like that would have made my senior year and as a whole a lot
better everyone’s gonna be freaking out over it
during the school year while you already have it and so it just feels good to get
it done early and relax your senior year visit every school that you can don’t
limit yourself to only one type of school if you think like oh I really
want a small liberal arts school or I want a big state school just go look at
everything that there is because the thing is is you don’t know what you want
until you go out and see it a lot of schools will do what you’re interested
in so it doesn’t need to be just one school that you like you can like a lot
of different schools you can like in different amounts but
you’ll be happy wherever you go I would talk to someone that goes to this goes
to a school you’re interested in because I know I did that
especially from Hopkinton high school and it was really helpful kind of start
the process as soon as possible start thinking a little bit and there isn’t
any really need to stress yourself over it because everything eventually like
works out also you want to leave time in case unexpected things came up
honestly just just relax just it’s all gonna work out so really just take a
deep breath don’t stress out too much about the common application do it early
get your essay done like I said if you’re gonna procrastinate don’t do it
now honestly I would try and just leave all the work to the student and if they
need any help they’ll ask because it can be really stressful when you’re at when
the parent at least is asking all the time oh did you get this done did you
get that done it’s just stressful and it’ll just create a fight so I would
just try to avoid that we’re hearing about it in school all the time from our
teachers I mean it’s always on our minds anyways I think you need to know your
kid because I know some of my friends really relied on their parents to like
help them with like editing things or like making sure they were getting
things on deadlines then other people were just stressed out and like didn’t
need their parents to be adding that stress if they’re having some trouble it
might be good to like back off I know you might be worried about your kid not
getting their stuff in before the deadlines but they are much more
stressed and you kind of have to take a step back from that it’s okay to let
them work at their own pace I mean like guess encourage them to do work but
they’ll get there I would definitely say keep your kids on track but don’t get
too over involved in it so the best thing for a parent to do is let let your
kid figure out what they want and how they want to go about doing it at the
end of the day it’s their choice be cautious with talking about colleges
and when families over for like Christmas and Thanksgiving they’re
always gonna like oh like what cause you’re going to dunno yet that’s gonna
stress the kid out so it’s really just tell everybody just they’re going
through this right now and so All of it definitely
understandably seems overwhelming