Applying to college can be one of the most stressful and overwhelming parts of being a teenager. High school seniors feel so much pressure to figure out what they want to do with their lives right away, all while working hard to get into a good school, but worry not! I brought along the cast of "Glee" here to try and make the stressful process of applying to college a little bit easier.
1. Your guidance counselor does not always know best.
During my junior year of high school, my school's college adviser told me I had no chance of getting into my top choice school and program. I went to my U.S. History class afterward and cried. A year later, I was accepted into that exact school and program. Moral of the story: your guidance counselor is not an admissions counselor, they do not determine if you will get into a school or not. So, don't stress too much over their personal opinions.
2. You define a "good school" during your college search.
Sure, everyone thinks Harvard is a good school and it is for some people, just not everyone. Sometimes, a school that may not be considered a great school by other people may have exactly what you are looking for. So if you are going to be happy at a college that many people don't define as a "good school," just remember not to worry about what anyone else thinks.
3. Do not apply somewhere if you can’t 100% picture yourself there.
Like I said in the last tip, you should go somewhere you will be happy. In order to figure this out, take a tour! Meet students who attend the college already. If you can be on the campus and picture yourself there, then picture yourself being happy and apply! If not, don’t waste that application fee. We're all scared of what is around the corner for our futures, but applying to just apply is counterproductive.
4. It’s okay to not apply to the same schools as your friends.
In fact, it may even be better to apply to different schools than your friends! The whole point of college is to broaden your horizons and meet new people. It does suck to leave your friends, but if you do not put yourself in a new environment, you will never know who you are without them. Plus, everyone’s home for the holidays! You’ll still get to see everyone then!
5. Apply to schools that have good programs for your area of interest.
Even if you are unsure of what exactly you want to major in, picking a school with programs you have an interest in is a good place to start. It is hard to know what you want to do with your life at 17 or 18 years old, but it is even harder to figure it out at 20 and find out your school does not have a program for it. Stay safe and choose a school with programs that interest you.
6. The concept of “reach, target, and safety” schools may not be for you.
Apply to the colleges you want! If you do not get into any of them, you can cross that bridge when you come to it to figure all of that stuff out! At the end of the day, it’s probably better than ending up at a school you could get into simply because it was a "safety" and hating it.
7. It's okay to take a break from applying to colleges.
Take a walk, go out with your friends and do not let the college process take over your life. Do whatever you find relaxing and comforting.
8. You can lean on your friends for support.
We all need somebody to lean on. All of your friends are going through the same thing, so take advantage of that and lean on each other for mental and emotional support. You don't have to sing it to one another, but it's okay to say it.
9. Put effort into your application by revising and editing.
The only way you are going to get into a school is by putting all of the proper work into your application. Don't let it get you overly stressed, but at the same time put effort into it! That is the only way you'll have a chance of getting in.
10. Don’t be fearful of acceptance statistics.
I was below all of the statistics of my dream school. You name it— ACT scores, SAT scores, the GPA requirement, I did not have high enough grades compared to the kids who got in. This almost scared me out of applying. But thank goodness it did not, since I got in at the end of the college application process and love it more than anything.
11. Do not let a rejection keep you from losing hope.
A college admissions counselor does not get the final word on what you will become in life. Everything happens for a reason, so if you don't get into a school it's because it wasn't meant to be. Remember, that admissions counselor only knows the you on paper, not the real you. They are not fit to determine your worth, so do not let them.
12. Get the most out of your senior year.
Senior year was my favorite year of high school. Enjoy every second of it from prom to your senior trip to graduation. You grew up with these people, enjoy your last few months growing together!
Remember this: you will end up at the school you are supposed to be at! There is so much stress put on students during this process that is so unnecessary. In order to combat that, just take it one step at a time and throw in some deep breaths along the way. Happy applying!
Lead Image Credit: 20th Century Fox