aaps on apps

as a recent graduate of the college admissions process, i thought i would share with you some advice to make your college admissions process not so scary. enjoy!

being organized makes the entire admissions process a million times easier! keep a folder on your computer or ipad filled with all things college. some things i have in my college folder are:

 my usernames and passwords for all of the different schools i need to log into
 my stats (SAT/ACT scores, AP scores, grades, clubs i'm in, etc.) so i have it all in one place
practice interview questions to go over 
random notes/ideas for essays 
my essays & resume 
my college list
a list of deadlines 

2. Do everything early!
even if you're not applying to a school early action/decision, submit your application as early as possible. i finished all of my applications in mid-september and had my interviews in mid-october. now i have more time to focus on school, applying to scholarships, and whatever else i want to do. if you're scrambling to do everything at the last minute, odds are you'll forget something!

3. Avoid websites that "chance" people/do NOT compare yourself to others
there are some websites that i like such as cappex.com that chances you, but i only used it to get a general idea of my chances. i did not base whether or not i applied to a school on it. apply to a school because you love it and you can picture yourself being there. don't worry about your scores/gpa not being good enough. apply and see what happens! you never know! also, do NOT compare yourself to others. if you find yourself on the "chance me" forum on collegeconfidential.com, i advise you to get out!! it's filled with applicants with 2300s on the SAT worrying about if their scores are good enough and people telling them that their chances may be hurt by that score. i mean are you kidding me?? that's just ridiculous. don't let "more qualified" applicants scare you away from applying to your dream school! 

4. Take advantage of your counselors 
i know that everyone's counselors are different, but i strongly advise you to try and form a good relationship with yours. at my school we have a counselor for our grade and a college advisor, and everyone is very close to both. they're there to help (it's their job!) so don't be afraid to ask them questions! i probably wouldn't have survived without my college advisor's help, so if you have one, take advantage of him/her! it's what they're there for. 

5. Write about something interesting
your essay is your chance to show admissions officers your personality, so make it interesting! now when i say write about something interesting, i don't mean that it has to be something completely breathtaking and original. it could be as simple as how a class changed your perspective on something. as long as you write it in a way that is interesting and shows off who you really are, then it's a winning essay! i could make an entire separate post on college essays alone, but i think that the topic is the most important part. when other people read your essay, they should automatically think "yep, that sounds like him/her." if not, then you have some editing to do. 

6. Don't try to live up to expectations
don't apply to Harvard because your parents or teachers expect you to because you have stellar grades/test scores. apply to Harvard because you love it and it's where you can see yourself living for the next four years. if you don't want to apply somewhere, don't apply! this entire process is about you, so don't let others take over it for you. no matter what your parents/teachers/friends expect out of you, apply to schools that will make you happy because that's where you'll be for the next four years. 

7. Relax
the college admissions process is not the end of the world (although it may feel like it sometimes). if you're feeling overwhelmed, just take some time off to relax and get your mind off of college. do some yoga, read a book, paint a picture, write a poem, do whatever it is that makes you happy, then come back to your applications. don't feel like your entire future is riding on these applications. even though they are important, college applications are not the most important thing you will ever do in your life. take your time with them and take a break if you need to. 

i could write so much more about the college admissions process, but i think these seven tips are the best ones i could think of. remember, just stay positive and things will work out for the best. 
good luck to everyone currently applying!! 
if you're on the same boat as me and already finished your applications, now we wait.... (ahhh!)

♥ alex 

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