This is part four of my “Applying to College” series! I hope that these help some of you in your college search and process. If you missed part one or two of this series, check them out here: my experience applying to college, finding the right school, and pre-application prep.
Note: I’m not an expert in any way, shape or form. My advice may not get you into your dream college – it’s just what worked for me!
half the journey is clicking submit
One of the things that I think everyone who applies for any nerve-wracking thing struggles with is hitting submit. The button that sends something off into space and you won’t be able to change anything anymore. That permanence is frightening for a lot of people, I think.
Once I’d put all of my pieces together, put finishing touches on my essays and triple checking my application for spelling errors, I had to hit submit. I was so nervous. I kept on wondering if there was anything else I could change or perfect in any way. At a certain point, I just had to do it. I was ready, everything was together, and it was time.
The final push for me was my college counselor telling me that it was time. He told me it was time to do it, and my friends cheered me on as I hit submit for the first time, and I saw those beautiful check-marks appear on my portal in the Common App. That feeling of comfort and relief is like nothing else I’ve ever experienced.
So, come time to submit, don’t be afraid of that button. If you’re ready and it’s time, take the plunge. Hit the button and celebrate with people who support you – you’re worth it!
submitting everything else
The other things you have to submit aren’t nearly as nerve-wracking as the application itself, in my opinion.
Test scores are the most important thing outside of the application itself that you’ll most likely need to submit. Make sure you’ve put aside a bit of money, because sending test scores can get expensive REALLY fast. Make sure you’ve got the right schools down and send those puppies off. One thing to know is that you can send test scores to a school before you’ve submitted your application, so you don’t have to wait to submit them. If anything, DO submit them early because most schools take a while to process all of the pieces of your application.
One of the things I didn’t expect to have to submit was a resume. A couple of my schools had the option of submitting one in addition to your activities list, and I’d recommend submitting one if given the option. It’s an opportunity to give the colleges EVERYTHING you’ve done, and also give them a better idea of what your skills are outside of the classroom. Say you have experience working with Photoshop or Final Cut Pro – those are things you can put on the resume that will demonstrate a proficiency in real-world skills that colleges may like seeing! This will also be an opportunity to put down any summer college camps you’ve gone to, awards you’ve gotten, etc. I, personally, LOVE making resumes, so let me know if you ever need advice on creating one – I’d be happy to help.
Once you’ve submitted your application, write whoever wrote you recommendation letters a thank you note. It’s a kind gesture that goes a long way, and it’s also a way to let them know you’ve submitted, and possibly, a subtle reminder to submit your letters.
That’s it for today’s post! I’ll be back next week with part five in the series, all about results and the waiting game.