The do’s and dont’s of the college process

Before you know it, you’ll have the acceptances rolling in. Photo by Nicole DeBlasi ’15

Before you know it, you’ll have the acceptances rolling in. Photo by Nicole DeBlasi ’15

Nicole DeBlasi, Staff Writer

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The college process and filling out applications can seem daunting. This is especially true in a town like Westport where there is so much competition and so much talk about everyone’s plans after graduation

Now that the class of 2016 will be starting their college applications soon, I thought I would bestow some advice upon them. Here is what I wish I did during the college process, and some helpful tips I’ve gathered along the way:

1) Don’t tell anyone where you are applying

 

I was told numerous times by both guidance counselors and family members to not tell my friends and other people where I was applying (or even looking), but I didn’t listen. In an August 2014 article from the Washington Post, “ About 813,000 students filed 3.45 million applications in the previous cycle through the Common App.” That’s a lot of competition, and talking to people who may be judgmental about your choices isn’t going to ease your stress levels. Hearing other people comment on where I was applying wasn’t helpful, and made conversations awkward.

2)  Start your essays during the summer

The most beneficial thing I did during the college process was to get a head start on my Common Application essay and supplements. Even if you’re applying Early Decision somewhere, still write the supplements for your other colleges before you hear back from your Early Decision school.

3) Manage stress

During my junior year, I was very stressed out, and tried to manage my stress better during my senior year. According to a USA Today article, “more than a quarter (27%) say they experience ‘extreme stress” during the school year…” If you’re feeling stressed out, you should talk to someone you trust. Go for a run, try out the new workout class you’ve been eyeing or write in a journal. Take a deep breath, and know that there is a finish line.

If I could talk to my past self, I would tell myself to get more sleep (and procrastinate less). According to Nationwide Children’s, teens need between 9 and 9 ½ hours of sleep. Trust me, getting an extra hour of sleep the night before a big test will probably help you more than studying for an extra hour. Getting more sleep helped me manage my stress during my senior year, and it may help you also.

And remember, before you know it, it’ll be second semester, and you’ll look back and realize that the drama wasn’t worth it. Good luck to the class of 2016, and don’t let the process get the best of you.

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