Seniors Give Advice About the College Application Process

(Photo courtesy of Victoria Nguyen)

(Photo courtesy of Victoria Nguyen)

Nicole Haynes, News & Online Editor

Victoria Nguyen (12): Don’t Wait

“I would really recommend to research your schools ahead of time and not to apply last minute. Personally my parents really pressured me into picking a major beforehand because financially knowing what you want to do could save you loads of money. If you have an idea of what you want to do, then really research schools that have that major and see which you want to apply to. Once you have a list of schools that you want to apply to, research each school’s application process and make a list of all the requirements and the due dates. It’s really easy to not complete an application because there is no one checking up on you. Also researching the schools can help you write better essays because it’s almost like you know your reader. Since no one is holding you responsible, it’s really easy to wait until the last minute, but if you want to do it thoroughly you have to plan ahead. If I had known, I would have completed it all before senior year started.”


Maddy Poplin (12): Apply to Scholarships

“I think after you apply early to schools you should spend that extra time you have at the beginning of the year to apply for scholarships. I applied really early for college, but didn’t use my time as wisely as I could’ve and only applied to like two scholarships when I could’ve done so many more. College is expensive no matter who you are and scholarships are a great way to pay for them. There are so many out there for us and we don’t even realize it! Mrs. Foster has lots of scholarship opportunities at the Career Center and my friend also showed me an app, “Scholly,” that helps you find scholarships fit for you. Even if you’re not going to be a senior next year, there are some scholarships that are open to any high schoolers, so it’s never too early to start applying!”


Maddie Harbin (12): Don’t Worry

“Like everyone says, apply as soon as possible because it takes off a lot of stress you will feel if you wait until the last second. I had extra requirements because I was applying to dance programs, so I thought I should wait to do it all at once when I wasn’t as busy, but it made the process a lot longer. Also because I applied later, people were finding out about their acceptances way before I was, and that was really nerve-racking. So, if you can apply early, do it and get it out of the way, but if not, it’s okay to not hear anything while others hear back. The entire college application process is stressful, but it’s so amazing to know where I’m going, which is ODU!”


William Rhodes (12): Explore your Options

“My best advice would be to look at options and places that you never thought you would look at. I never thought I would be going to school in Dublin, Ireland, but I am! Exploring your options opens your eyes to all the possibilities you thought would never happen to you. Also you should really look at the program and classes that the school offers and see if that matches what you want to do. Looking at the major requirements is a great way to tell what the major is all about and what you could expect if you went there.”


Nicole Haynes (12): Reevaluate

“The biggest thing I would want to emphasize is that even if you think you know what you want to major in, it might change. People told me this all the time, but I always thought they were wrong because I had this idea since elementary school. Nevertheless, I did change what I’m majoring in and even though it’s very related, it’s still not exactly what I thought it would be. I think it’s really important to take a step back and ask yourself not ‘What have I always wanted to do,’ but ‘What do I want to see change in/care about’? Once I did that it was clear that what I had always envisioned myself doing wasn’t really so much of what I should be doing. You should never feel forced to do something, obviously, you should choose something you love and are passionate about. I absolutely love my ‘new’ major, sustainable environmental design, and I’m extremely interested in it, but I am so happy that I feel like I am doing something important. Don’t feel pinned down to anything involving the college application process; from your major to where you apply, it’s all up to you.”


Andrew James (12): Visit

“I think the best advice I have is to visit all the schools that you are really interested in going to. It’s probably best to do it your junior year because the fall of your senior year is already so busy, but no matter when, it’s important to feel colleges out. Every college knows how to look amazing online, but it can look and feel very different in real life. I visited a bunch of colleges in one trip and I thought all would work for me, but after visiting some I couldn’t see myself there. For example, I thought JMU looked amazing online, but when I got there, it wasn’t exactly what I, personally, was looking for.”


Cintia Samaha (12): Go to Your Counselor

“I would highly recommend going your counselor. I literally went every day October through December and Mr. Carter always helped me with whatever I needed. Sometimes it’ll feel like you’re bothering them, but they’re here to help you through this stressful process. I went to Mr. Carter not just for questions about my application or to check to see if they had sent my transcript, I also went to him when I needed someone to calm me down. Applying to college is by far the most stressful thing I’ve ever done, and honestly don’t know how I would have done it without a counselor! So take advantage of your resources and don’t be afraid to go to them for literally anything; they’re really awesome!”