How to Prepare Your College Application

How to Prepare Your College Application

by Chloe DeFrancesco

If there is one thing that most high school upperclassmen think about, it’s applying to college. We are finally high school students, and feeling anxious about the future is quite normal. If you are currently joining eight different clubs or if your schedule is packed with AP and Honors classes, here are some tips on how to impress college admissions officers.

This isn’t much of a shock, but when you’re applying for college, you have to be reasonable. If you have poor grades and didn’t pay attention in any of your classes, don’t waste money (or time) applying for Yale. The time you spent doing well in school will impact your future – grades matter. Having said that, however, you don’t need a perfect 4.0 GPA to get into a good college. If you think about it, there really isn’t such a thing as a “good” college – it’s subjective to an extent. What matters is what works for you. You could go to community college (or not go to college at all) and have a successful life. Just try your best, study when you can, and pay attention in class –  before you know it, you will be a junior applying to colleges or a senior waiting for acceptance letters. 

Grades are definitely important, but they’re only one component of the application process. While colleges will be impressed by your insane grades, they also want to see what type of person you are. Are you an athlete? Do you like to play card games? Do you participate in any clubs or extracurricular activities? On your application, you also want to present some aspects of your personality that will set you apart from everyone else. It sounds crazy, but someone can actually have a better chance of getting accepted into their college of choice because they do underwater basket weaving. Extracurriculars matter!

Colleges also love to see community service on the application. Luckily, there are plenty of opportunities to perform community service here in Oceanside. Volunteer at a dog or cat shelter, bring food to elderly people who can’t venture out of their house, or help pick up trash around local parks. These are simple types of community service that could be both fun and helpful to the community. First and foremost, though, you should perform community service because it helps others and makes you feel like a part of the community. 

In addition to studying for standardized tests like the SAT and the ACT, you also want to make sure that you have a solid college essay – the essay needs to stand out. You want to wow the college admissions officers and make them want you to be a part of their institution. Admissions officers want diversity in their students.They don’t want all of the same types of students that have no real interests or hobbies. You can’t always rely on just your grades and test scores.  There are other components of the college application that are very important as well. 

Remember, college isn’t your final goal in life, it is merely a step towards your ultimate success. The standardized tests don’t define who you really are – you are more than the sum of the parts that make up your college application.

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