Dear ML Today,
I’m currently a junior. Ever since 2021 started, I have realized that I will be preparing for college really soon. I’m really excited, but also stressed and feel like there is so much I need to think about for the admissions process. What is the best advice I can get from a senior about what is most important to focus on with the college admissions process?-Jazzed Junior
Dear Jazzed Junior,
Thinking about college is definitely one of the most stressful things about high school, especially beginning in junior year. First of all, we would officially like to commend you for your hard work and effort up until this point, and encourage you to continue doing what you’re doing! As for advice, after talking to a couple of seniors from the class of 2021, here are some things we’ve come up with.
- Start early and allocate your time wisely. Don’t waste time applying to schools you are 100% sure you would never go to under any circumstances. Instead, focus those efforts on the schools that matter to you the most. Otherwise, you may end up doing an okay job on all of your applications, rather than having a couple of excellent ones. In order to help you do this, start by doing your research! Make an ongoing list or spreadsheet with the names of the colleges you might want to apply to, and then work on narrowing it down as you continue your research.
- Choosing the colleges that provide the type of education you want is really important, even before the whole application process. Look into the top schools for your majors of interest, and then look into what type of school it is. What are the things you need in a school, what are the things you want, and what are some things you definitely don’t want? Essentially, find the schools that fit YOUR puzzle. Prestigious schools are prestigious for a reason but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best school for what you want to study and for the opportunities you want. Looking at Reddit to get a sense of students’ perspective of their school might be helpful as well.
- Shoot your shot! Don’t underestimate your capabilities or go into the process with a negative mindset. If you have a top college you want to apply to but don’t think you would get in, try anyway. Once you put in the work and submit your application, you won’t regret it.
We hope these starting pieces of advice are helpful for your admissions process! Good luck!
ML Today Advice Column