By Elissa Koh,
As many begin to commit to colleges, seniors reflect back on their long year full of college applications.
Senior Josh Lara describes his experience with college applications as stressful.
“Writing seemingly endless essays for colleges I was applying to was exhausting at times. The essays really made me reflect on my own character and how I wanted to present myself to universities,” Lara said.
Likewise, senior Jessica Block felt the pressure as she was completing her applications. However, Block felt better as the process went on and she began to check applications off her list.
“The actual writing of applications is not too bad as long as you start at least one before Thanksgiving Break, because once you have done one, the others are much easier, and that way if you are applying to UCs which are usually due the week after thanksgiving, you at least have a framework for your application,” Block said.
Lara put much effort into each application he submitted, spending many hours to guarantee that no mistakes were made and that each requirement was fulfilled when turning in his applications.
“I also ran almost all of my essays by my friends and family before submission, and their advice [and] proofreading certainly improved the overall quality of my applications,” Lara said.
However, looking back, Lara had a few regrets. For example, Lara started working on his college applications in August, but wished he had begun working on them earlier.
“As the deadline for application submission neared, I found myself cutting more colleges than I would have liked from my application list,” Lara said.
On the other hand, senior Joe Schaaf was satisfied with how he handled his college applications.
“I honestly wouldn’t change a thing– only just get better grades beforehand. I thought I planned and edited all my essays perfectly and was really happy how they all turned out,” Schaaf said.
With their experience and struggles with completing applications, seniors have much advice to offer juniors.
Schaaf suggests for juniors to “apply broadly and get as many people as possible to proof your essays.”
More specifically, Block emphasizes applying to UCs.
“Private schools are really expensive and getting into them is getting more difficult, so applying to the private schools you like is a great idea, but remember that UCs are really good schools for half as much money, and if you apply to many of them you are likely to get into at least one,” Block said.
Lara advices juniors to start filling out their college applications as early as they can, and to mark deadlines in their calendars. He also believes that students can start preparing for applications junior year and that students should focus on and center their applications around one or two interests they are most passionate about
“Finally, I recommend not stressing too much about the application process. Everyone will end up in a good college that’s a fit for them in the end,” Lara said.