College admissions season is upon us.
While the application deadline for admission to many schools this fall has already passed, it’s never too early to start thinking about next year. If you’re one of those students who has had your college checklist ready since the start of the school year, you’ve come to the right place.
The higher education industry wants you to attend college, but applying to college can be overwhelming. What do admissions counselors look for in the best college students? How do you know if you’re ready for a college curriculum?
Keep reading to learn some of the most common mistakes students make when applying to college, and how to avoid them.
Writing a Generic Essay
If you want your essay to stand out from the essays of the other applicants, you’ll have to be a little vulnerable.
This doesn’t mean that you have to craft a sob story or share any details about your personal life that you’re uncomfortable sharing with strangers. It does mean, however, that you need to provide a compelling narrative about your life and why you want to attend this college in particular.
If you’re applying to multiple colleges, take the time to write a unique essay for each one. Even if you’re using a common application to apply for many schools at once, this little personal detail will make your application stand out from the rest.
Getting Your Heart Set on One School
It’s well worth your time to apply to colleges that are both reach schools and safety schools.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t have a specific goal in mind. In fact, having a focused, specific goal can help you to achieve more than if you don’t have any goals at all.
However, if you get so attached to the idea of going to one specific Ivy League school that you start searching for apartments and buying coursebooks before you’ve been accepted, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment.
Many schools can help you get where you’re going and achieve your dreams. Keeping your mind open to the possibilities may help you discover the dream school that you didn’t even know existed.
(If you did already buy those course books, it’s not too late; it’s very easy to find a place to donate books and get some of your money back.)
Rushing Through the Submission Process
Admissions counselors know that life happens, but they have deadlines for a reason. If you miss submission deadlines, you could miss your chance to apply for the school of your dreams.
Plan time in your schedule the week before a deadline to go through your materials and proofread carefully. If you feel rushed, you might make silly mistakes, so plan for more time than you need, so that you can make your application the absolute best it can be.
Applying to College Doesn’t Have to Be Stressful
These are just a few of the most common mistakes that students make when applying to college. Thankfully, most of them can be avoided by taking your time and being thoughtful about your college search. Just by reading this article, you’re that much more likely to avoid these mistakes and get into the college of your dreams!
Looking for more ways to optimize your life and maximize happiness? Take a look at the other articles in the Happiness section of this site!