Submitting early applications? Read these 8 tips

Trick or…trick? If you’re applying early to colleges there’s likely to be a shortage of treats this Halloween. And the tricks aren’t even cool. Like not at all. Actually they’re kind of awful. Because who thought applying to college would be fun, or sane, or easy? Then you add a deadline following what used to be an amazing holiday you waited patiently (or impatiently) for to dive into sweet sweet mounds of candy. Remember the good old days. The days where your costume consumed your mind more than the common app. Where you decided which street to trick or treat on instead of which college to apply to. Where you went to your first party (sorry mom and dad) and really killed it in your costume. Oh see ya later days.

If you’ve been working on college apps and are identifying with this post more than you’d like, here’s a few tips to get you through. Tip #1, opening up a Kit-Kat will help you read the tips more. It’s a fact.

Tip #2: Solidify those essays, make sure they’re mostly about you, they’re authentic, they’re in your voice, they don’t feel forced and you’re not doing a re-write the night before and then feel confident about them. Own those essays you’ve drafted over for months…or days…regardless…own them.

Tip #3: Tie up the extras. Like ordering test scores, ensuring your transcript is on it’s way, thanking your teacher for writing your letter, etc. Supplemental materials come from all over the place and yes it’s annoying. But make sure you have a list, check it twice…wait isn’t that a different holiday??

Tip #4: If one wants to seek bad advice to justify something they want so badly to be true, one will find it. Folks, now is NOT the time to run rampant online to find the one blog that says you’ll get into Harvard. Don’t listen to your neighbor (sorry neighbor) or your Auntie (sorry Auntie).

Tip #5: No extra dotted “i” or crossed “t” or one extra grade or one extra class or one extra essay that will earth shattering alter an admission decision. Present a strong application that showcases your academic talents, history, provide context where needed, show off your extras and write about your hopes, dreams, challenges and/or insights. And then own it.

Tip#6: Hit submit and walk away. Okay guys, really, start walking away. After you decide you’re ready to submit your application…submit it. Remind yourself you’re awesome and then walk away. Better yet, plan something with a friend and put your phone on airplane mode. Or go see a movie. Something that doesn’t lend itself to comparing yourself to every other senior and entering a full panic mode.

Tip #7: Review your balanced college list and ensure you that you have some comfortable admissible colleges you know you’d actually consider attending. Because is a likely option a likely if you’d never go? Probably not.

Tip #8: Eat some more Halloween candy and wrap it up. Or unwrap it if you’re eating candy????

Published by Casey Barneson

Author of The College Wellness Guide. Beverly Hills High School College Counselor.

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