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Advice from One Senior to Another | Brianna Cateriano

Attention all seniors! The time has finally come, the time that we have spent our whole high school worried about, to apply to college. This time in our lives should be filled with excitement, as most of us have dreamt about applying to college for years. Since I am going through the process myself, I understand the fear of rejection that comes with applying. Unfortunately, colleges cannot accept everyone who applies, and this idea of rejection can be scary. Here are a few tips and tricks to reduce the stress of applying to colleges that I have learned and that have helped me immensely.

First things first, it is important to be in a good head space when writing your college essays. If you are feeling overwhelmed, tired, or upset, write it at a later time, as you don’t want to project negative feelings onto your essay. When writing these essays, you should be in an easy to work environment, without distractions. I have also found it useful to have a pen and paper next to me while writing these essays, as having access to these tools allow for you to jot down notes or thoughts about what you’re writing — a useful tool for visual learners. It’s best to put your phone aside while writing these essays, light a candle, and write about why you are the best candidate for admittance to a given university.

Doing research on which school you want to attend is also vital when applying to colleges, as most colleges require a short statement about why you want to attend their university. Researching about the campus and college location, the major you are applying for, and clubs and organizations is important as you can apply this knowledge to these personal statement essays. Being well-informed about a given school will help you to write an essay that demonstrates your interest in that school, increasing your chances of admission. This research will also help you to make an informed decision about whether or not you should apply, as although a school might seem great, you might come to find out that it isn’t a good fit for you or that it doesn’t have a good program for what you want to study. I know that before doing research on my schools, I based the schools that I was applying too based on popularity and word-of-mouth, but after doing research, decided to apply to numerous schools that I would never have imagined myself applying to.

From one senior to another, you will get into the college that you are supposed to go to. Your path and success in life is not determined by which UC school you attend, or whether or not you get into the college of your dreams, but it is rather determined by how well you do at whatever school you end up at. The college application process does not define your intelligence, your success, or you. It’s a process that is necessary to the beginning of this next chapter in our lives, a chapter defined by happiness and success. Just remember that you will end up exactly where you are supposed to be.

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