Whether you’ve already started senior year or it’s still a few years away, you’re likely full of excitement and a bit of nerves. Here is some advice to help you get through senior year.
Dealing with (unwanted) questions. How many times have you been asked, “Where are you applying to college?” Probably more than you care to count. Personal questions like this come at you from all directions and can be annoying, overwhelming and panic-inducing. The next time an adult asks you that question, respond with something like, “Oh, I’ve been checking out a lot of great schools. How did you decide where to apply?” Once you get them talking about themselves, they’ll quickly forget about your college application process. Problem solved!
Supporting your parent(s). Aren’t they supposed to be the ones supporting you? If you’re feeling nervous about college applications, they are possibly even more overwhelmed because they want the very best for you. And their nervousness tends to create a lot of questions targeted at you. While you may be feeling independent and want to manage your college process entirely on your own, do yourself a favor and set up a weekly family “college meeting” to score yourself some major points. Corralling all the college-related questions into one hour each week – instead of scattered through every single day – will make everyone much happier!
Getting control of your to-do list. Don’t allow your school work to go unchecked while you focus attention on your applications this fall. That means you’re going to need to get really up close and personal with your iPhone calendar, paper planner or wall calendar. We recommend setting 1 – 3 weekly application goals each Sunday through the fall semester. Taking these small steps each week will make for a much more relaxed and enjoyable senior year.
Don’t mess with deadlines. Most colleges have inflexible deadlines that you must follow. In fact, some colleges want you to submit your application well before the deadline to get on-campus housing preferences. While it may seem tempting to procrastinate and flirt with the deadline, don’t do it! Instead, try submitting all applications at least one week before they’re due – but preferably two or more weeks, if possible. Because of the high Internet traffic near deadlines, some college application platforms have been known to slow down or even crash hours before a deadline. Avoid those tears and submit early!
Good luck with the final year of high school, seniors!
Stephen is the co-founder and COO of AcceptU. He received a BA from Cornell University, an MA from Columbia University Teachers College, and a Ph.D. from Rice University. Prior to founding AcceptU, Stephen was an Assistant Dean of admissions at Cornell for four years and an Associate Dean of graduate admissions at Princeton University for six years. Stephen is an IECA Associate Member.