Senior year of high school starts out exciting and busy. You’ve put in so much work the previous years to get there, to that last year, and there’s so much to see and do, to create memories that will last forever. However, in the midst of all the fun, if you plan to go to college, you must start the enrollment process. This requires more time and energy than you’d expect; and it can be quite overwhelming and stressful. Rather than letting the process get to you, keep some of these helpful tips in mind while navigating the application process.
One of the simplest things that can help when planning your future is organization. An easy way to do this is to create and "application station." Choose a certain spot—whether a corner of the kitchen counter, or a spot on your desk—and keep all materials relating to the application process there. Give each college and application its own folder so that the materials don’t get mixed up. On the front of each folder, write the name of the college and the application due date. This will make it much easier to find what you need.
It’s very important to know the deadlines for applications. These days, so many people rely on electronic calendars and alarms, and these do work really well. However, if you’re not looking at them regularly, it’s easy to miss something. An easy way to remedy this is using a paper calendar. Either use a pre-printed one, or create your own, marking the dates each application is due. You can also include any test dates, scholarship due dates—anything significant to your college applications. Hang this calendar where you see if every day, so you know how much time you have. It might be good to have a couple calendars, such as one by your application station and another on the refrigerator. Make sure all the essential dates are marked clearly.
Do your research. Make sure that the schools you’re looking into are right for you. Do they have the major you’re interested in? Do you like the location? What type of extracurricular activities do they offer? Will your grades/scores meet their standards? Once you’ve made the decision of which universities to apply to, review the necessary materials. Follow the tips above for organization and time management. When you’ve finished the application and the essay, be sure to review carefully. Consider letting an adult check everything over one last time, just to be sure. You don’t want to have any mistakes.
When you’re busy applying and writing essays, it can get overwhelming. Sometimes it’s hard to remember why you’re doing it and what it’s for. Take some time away to just have some fun. Schedule it in if you need to! If you’ve spent an hour filling out an application, go outside and take a breather. Watch a funny show and laugh. Call a friend and giggle about a questionable essay topic. Finding the humor in things helps keep the stress at bay.
There’s a reason people "apply" to college. Not everyone will get in to every school. Sometimes it can be heartbreaking, but it’s also a learning experience that can end up being for the better. You don’t need to make the year any harder on yourself by worrying about whether you’ll be accepted. If you sent everything in on time and filled it out to the best of your ability, then you just have to wait and see. Stressing isn’t going to change anything.
Following these tips for managing the college application process won’t guarantee that everything goes smoothly, but it will promise to keep the stress at bay and allow more time for the last bit of high school fun.
Ryan Ayers is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to education. In this article, he offers a few management tips for student applying to college and aims to encourage further study with a UAB Online Masters in Information Systems.