How to apply to college with less stress


ERICCA NOLAN, Staff Writer

Now that it is October, seniors are rushing to get their college applications ready. Some deadlines are creeping up on us. This is a very weird and confusing process, but these guidelines should prove to be helpful.

Stay in contact with your guidance counselor

Your guidance counselor will be your biggest ally through this process. They are doing their best to set us up for success in our applications. Everyone should have had a meeting with their counselor by now, and if not, schedule one at the very least to check in. They are here to help us figure out how to make an application that best reflects us.

Figure out how to apply ASAP

Figure out how the schools you want to apply to will receive you application, whether that be by common app, on their website, or by mail. Make a time for yourself to setup your common app account if you haven’t already done so. Add all of you colleges you plan to apply to that are available through the common app and check when their deadlines are, since they may vary from other schools. Not every school is on the common app, so it is important that students recognize how the school wants them to apply.

Fill in all of the general information

Once you have access to the application, whether it is through the common app or another source, fill out the general information as soon as possible. There are many sections and each have their own subsections. Doing this early will make it less stressful when the deadline is a week away. Do a little bit at a time. It can be stressful to fill it all out in one sitting.

Letters of Recommendation

Teachers, guidance counselors, and other instructors are usually the recommendations you need to get for applications. Asking them as early as possible will give them plenty of time to write great things about you.

Pay attention to deadlines

Deadlines are some of the most stressful things about the application process. Pay attention to every deadline, but try not to freak out too much over them. Use a handy dandy checklist to meet short term goals so everything doesn’t pile up at the last minute. If you plan to apply early action, time is running out, so get started and keep that due date in mind.


The college application essay will be the hardest part about the whole application process. Through the common app, there are standard essay prompts that you can pick from. Picking the one you want to write about and actually putting all of you ideas into words is tricky, especially if you are stressing about how it needs to be perfect. Luckily, there are a few readers who come in every Friday and are in the library to help you with your essay. Proofreading is a major concept when writing this, so be sure to get others to read your essay.

In the end, keep track of what you still need to do. Use as many resources as possible and try to keep a level head. This is going to be confusing, but have faith. Good luck seniors!