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North seniors tackle college applications

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     Applying to college is a task that many seniors are tackling this semester and early into next semester.
     It can be a very stressful process, but with the proper preparation and insight from those familiar with the process, it can all be less overwhelming. Most applications are done through the Common Application where students will answer questions, write a personal essay, and complete other requirements based on the school.
      Deciding what to do after high school is very complicated. If college is something students want to pursue, there are a lot of questions that follow. Should the school be in-state or out-of-state? What is a possible major? Which school is the best fit? But before deciding what school students want to get into, students actually have to get in. Devoting plenty of time to the application is highly recommended and helpful in lowering stress and increasing the chances of getting in.
   “Get started on your Common App and your essays in early summer so you can submit earlier. August first is when the Common App opens, but I’d say start even before then. You still have access to all the prompts. So the summer prior, start writing. You’ll save yourself a lot of time,” said senior Eugene Kang.
     Devoting plenty of time to the application is highly recommended and helpful in lowering stress. It’s especially helpful for students to start applications early because once the semester starts, balancing classes, school events, and sports with the application can be too much to handle all at once.
     “It was pretty tough. I started before school, kind of, but that was also tough because of tennis. But I worked on it on the weekends when I didn’t have any homework,” said senior Hannah Han.
     “It has not been very fun balancing school and college apps. I had to put some stuff to the side. There’s no time to rest,” Kang said.
     Another benefit to starting early is being capable of applying early action or early decision. Early action is non-binding and early decision is binding, meaning you have to go there if you get in. Most early action or decision deadlines range from about October 15 to November 15; however, the most common date is November 1. Regular decision is the better option for students who want to take more time to finalize their application. These deadlines tend to be from January to February. Rolling admissions have much later deadlines, and schools will get back to students much quicker.
     “Early action gives you more time. You’ll find out earlier if you get in which gives you more time to plan and compare your options and think about cost and think about all the factors that factor into whether or not you’re going to go to a school. There’s not a huge statistical difference in terms of admissions and whether or not you get in, but I would say early action gives you more time to plan,” said counselor Tim Sheehan.
     There are many people at North that students can reach out to for help. A big help for many students is their counselors. Students can get help with their Common App, requesting teacher recommendation letters, and most other questions. Students can also visit the college and career center at school or get in contact with colleges when schools visit North. Another helpful outlet can be other seniors in the same situation.
     “Honestly, the people that have been the most helpful are probably my friends because they gave me motivation to actually do my applications and gave me hope that I’m going to get in,” Han said.
     The college app process can be very intimidating. This is where students will be spending the crucial next four years of their lives; however, there are plenty of people who can offer help to students. The important things for students to be devoting their time to are curating their list of schools they are applying to and their application. Once they have done this, the rest is out of their hands. All there is left to do is wait patiently for admissions.
     “I would stress about the things that you can control, like writing a personal statement. What you can’t control is who’s reading your application. I would focus on the things that you can have a direct impact on. A lot of people view it as am I good enough to get into this school?” Sheehan said. “But you want to find a school that wants you. Sometimes the most prestigious or most competitive school isn’t necessarily the best fit based on who you are and what you want to do. I would just remind students that it’s like a two-way street. If it doesn’t work out with a particular school, then there’s a better plan out there for you with a different school.”
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About the Contributor
My name is Roxy, and I'm a senior. I'm involved in many different things at school including tennis, Student Council, Rho Kappa, NHS, Sign Club and new this year to journalism. I'm excited to write about things going on at North this year.

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