Right now, my fellow seniors and I are in the thick of applying to college and trying to figure out what we are going to do with the rest of our lives.
I’d like to share with you what I’m doing so that if you are on your way to applying, or want to know what’s in store for you in upcoming years, keep reading about how I’m approaching my college process right now:
^ Our faces collectively when we think about college
My school has me use a program called ECAP, which creates a resume for you. Once I got a general resume with everything in it, I tailor it to apply for scholarships, jobs, and programs – and save those versions. It saves a lot of time to be able to just grab a previous resume and apply it to your next opportunity. But, you have to make sure you do make those edits. Every opportunity will require you to highlight different things on your resume.
2. College Master List
I use this Google Sheets spreadsheet to organize all the information for the colleges I’m applying to. They’re listed in order of deadline and priority based on immediate interest. It helps me keep track with which colleges I’ve interacted with, what programs they have that got me interested in the first place, and makes sure deadlines won’t sneak up.
Every week, I meet with someone (an advisor, friend, or mentor) and create a new version of my Common Application essay. My essay is getting closer to being finished each week, and my next step is to lay out all the supplemental essays I’m going to be writing throughout the college process, and going over those with a mentor to ensure I’m painting a holistic picture of myself through my essays.
^ I like to type my essays in an aesthetic setting with some coffee or hot coco
4. Applying to Fly-Ins, Programs, Scholarships
As of right now, I’ve applied to five fly-ins, been accepted into three, rejected from one, and waiting on one. I’m in the process of applying for a bigger scholarship, and am interviewing for another scholarship in the next week or so. This past August, I went to UChicago for a leadership summit. I keep an eye out every day in my inbox and through my counselors for opportunities I can take. I have a bit of an opportunity problem in that I will apply for literally anything I qualify for. But, it hasn’t killed me so far? I think it’s a good philosophy to put yourself out there for virtually anything that interests you and see what you get back. You have nothing to lose, and the worst that could happen is you get a “no”, but that’s the best you can get if you don’t try.
5. Managing My Time and Tasks
With so much going on, it’s been essential to find a way to manage all the little tasks that have been coming up. I’ve been using a Trello System that I developed to do this, and it’s changed the way I view task management. You can order your personalized system here.
If you are having trouble with staying on top of the college process, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk!
Happy applying, try not to let it overwhelm you too much. But I won’t lie that it can be a lot at once, and you might get stressed sometimes. Just take a breath, make a plan, and carry it out. Surround yourself with as much support as possible and take advantage of all the resources and opportunities that are presented to you right now.