As college application season approaches, many seniors are preparing to take on a new chapter in their lives, and attend either a four year or a two year college. As for others, people may have chosen that college isn’t for them, and instead opt to work or take a gap year. For students who are applying, they must navigate the ins and outs of how to get accepted and stand out to colleges. Even though the process of applying is rough, here at Santa Barbara High School we have many bright students, four of which I had the pleasure of speaking with. They are getting ready to take on a harsh path towards a four year university. Even though there is lots of time left, it’s highly recommended that you get ahead and finish your applications as early as possible.
The first student I spoke with was Kaden Ridgell, who is applying to the University of Michigan, New York University, Fordham, and a few other schools in New York. His first choice is NYU because he really loves the area. He said, “the most difficult part about applying was writing the essays, because you have to stand out and find something that makes you unique.” Something that he recommended was having a college counselor, because they help polish your essays and your overall applications to the institutions of your choice.
The second student I spoke to was Augustine Wooten who wants to go to Southern Methodist University but is also applying to Texas Christian University, University of Michigan, University of Texas Austin, and Vanderbilt. When asked what the most difficult part was about applying she said, “the time management aspect of it and trying to find time to write the important essays but also fill out all of the information required.” She said that starting super early and getting your general common app essay done first is something that she would recommend, because then you have lots of time to revise your supplemental essays without being super stressed out.
The next student I spoke to was Addison Sweeney, who wants to go to Harvard, but is also applying to Brown, Duke, Yale, UCLA, and Stanford. The most difficult part of applying for Addie is coming up with ideas for her essays. So far, she has written about her sister, Next-Gen coders (a junior high club Sweeney leads), Girls Who Code (Sweeney’s club on campus), and will maybe write about playing varsity water polo. She recommends that students brainstorm for one to two hours, and that they ask the people who know them best.
Finally I spoke to Will Harman who is applying to Boston College, Boston University, University of Southern California, University of California Los Angeles, Tulane, Cal Berkeley, New York University, St. Andrews, University of Michigan, University of Miami, University of California San Diego, and his number one choice, Harvard where he would really love to play volleyball for the Crimson. For him he said that the hardest part about applying was all of the supplemental essays and trying to apply to college while also maintaining good grades and playing sports. When asked if he had advice for people who haven’t started applying yet, he said “If you’re applying to multiple colleges you should start as soon as possible so you aren’t cramming it in right before the deadline.”
We are reaching the last few months of the application deadline. The pressure is on as you make a big decision that will affect you for the rest of your life. No matter what the future holds for you, preparing early and having a clear goal will help make all of your decisions a tad bit easier.
Image Credit: Tobin Shyrock