Survival Guide to High School Limbo Year

Kayla Boehler, Quill Editor

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Most seniors know about the stress that comes with college application essays and filling out the same information over and over again. As a senior this year, I’ve been trying to manage my time and make sure everything gets sent to the colleges they need to be sent to.

Being the youngest in my family, I had a slight advantage with my college applications because my sister made sure that I didn’t procrastinate, like she did. For some of those who don’t have that advantage or just need a couple tips, here are a couple that worked for me that may help you:

  1. Try to get your essays done before school starts!!

I know it’s a little late for that, but junior, this tip applies to you too! I know many people procrastinate, I do, but it’s a lot easier if you get a majority of your essays done before school. You won’t have that extra load of work on your shoulders and you’ll feel a little relieved when you see all of your friends panicking.

  1. Write down everything you’ve been involved in during your high school life.

Do this so that when it comes time to go through the application process, you’ll have every club, awards, and volunteer work right in front of you to copy down. It gets hard having to remember how long you’ve been involved in a club and how many volunteer hours you have, but if you write it down, you can just enter it into the application instead of having to memorize every aspect of your high school life.

  1. Just breathe.

It’s not the end of the world if you don’t finish your early action application on time, you still have 3 months to finish by the normal deadline. There’s no reason to stress out about college applications, the university just wants to get to know you. As a person who gets anxiety attacks regularly, I advise you to just think about what will come out of it and breathe, because panicking just makes everything worse and you’re most likely stressing about nothing.

  1. Stay organized.

I am probably the worst at being organized, but it is a major part of high school if you’re going to get through senior year and get ready for college. Keep up your grades by keeping a planner so you know what homework you have and when it’s due. Being organized will help you remember to do things so you aren’t stressing about when you college application deadline is. Set your pace, and keep up with school!

  1. Don’t take all the easy classes!!

Colleges do look at the courses you take during your senior year. It will give you a better chance at getting into the college you want, because they see that you won’t slack off the second you get the chance to. Never limit yourself. Even if you take an AP course and get an 70 or 80 in it, they’ll still see that you tried. Your GPA will be boosted if you do take an AP course and you’ll stand out more.

  1. Visit the campus.

Most people don’t do this and it could make a difference with your admissions process. Many admission officers look to see if you have visited the campus when you apply because it shows that you’re committed to them and that they’re one of your top choices. Another major reason why you should visit the campus is because if you go and you end up not liking it, you know not to apply there. At Cedar Ridge you get 3 excused days to visit colleges so use them to your advantage.

  1. Don’t procrastinate.

This is the biggest and most highly regarded tip of all. Everyone procrastinates, and we all know it. Don’t do it with college applications; every day you put it off is another day someone hasn’t and the pool of applicants will just get bigger and harder to compete in. Another reason you shouldn’t is because it will end up mixing with your school work and you’ll have to choose between them. The school year will get harder and you don’t want that to affect the quality of your college essays.

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