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Newsletter: August 2011






Newsletter, August 2011

Hindsight is 20/20: The College Application Process
By Julia Heiland

 

Looking back, I would tell myself…
            Not every college is going to want you. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Getting deferred, waitlisted or even rejected isn’t the worst thing that could possibly happen. Getting turned down doesn’t mean they don’t want you; it just means they didn’t have room for you because there were more people that were a better fit. Don’t suffer from the unhappiness of the rejection but celebrate the good fortune of an acceptance. Don’t get a big head. You’re not above your safety schools; in fact, you should be honored if they decide to accept you. It’s almost scary how many cases there have been of people who have too much confidence and end up getting rejected from almost every school. Never act as if you would be automatically accepted into any school because you never know.
            When it comes to creating a college list, ask around. Because you’re so new to the process it’s hard to choose 15 schools from about 3000 options. Older friends have been through the process, and they know what they’re doing. Having been through the process, there are about eight or nine schools I never would apply to now and even a few I didn’t apply to that I would have. Search engines don’t really help because they don’t know your personality; however, your friends do.
            Early action is your best friend. Get your applications in by their early action deadlines. Early action is a magical thing where you can hear back from colleges by December and January. Imagine having a good idea of where you might go half way through senior year. But in order to do that you have to get your essays and supplements done during the summer. It may sound like the worst thing in the world to give up your summer to be stuck inside writing essays, but it’s actually the best. Just wait until the fall when all your friends are struggling with both schoolwork and applications, and you’re already done. It’s the best feeling in the world.
            When you know, you know. When you find that perfect college, you’ll know. Don’t worry about it if it’s not the best school you applied to or not your parents’ favorite; you’re the one that has to go there for four years. Explore all your options. Even if you’re 110% sure there is no way you would ever want to take a gap year, at least check it out. You may be surprised by what you find. There are so many things available to you, and you don’t want to regret it later on when you’re not able to do it.
            Don’t visit your top choice school first. In fact, it might be wise to visit a school you aren’t even sure if you’re going to apply to. Not only does this allow for a dry run of a college tour, you can also create a list of all the things you just realized you wanted for future colleges. For example, a library that is open 24 hours a day, or whether the school will make you fulfill a language requirement. 
            Make sure you check out the college town, as well as the campus, when you go to visit. Confirm that the shopping is up to your standards and that the people aren’t extraordinarily creepy.
            Have fun with it. The college process will seem a lot less daunting if you just choose to have a good time with it instead. Enjoy writing your personal essays and visiting schools; even allow yourself to get excited about filling out forms. It’s not just an application; it’s the next four years of your life—so be enthusiastic about it. 

It’s that Time of Year Again

It’s everyone’s favorite time of year (sigh)...As kids start to think about going back to school, it’s time to focus on the year ahead. Consider setting up tutoring appointments in advance, before your child has a chance to fall behind.

Tip of the Month
Parents, consider waking your kids up earlier and earlier each morning in preparation to go back to school. It’s hard to make an adjustment from waking up at noon every day to suddenly waking up at 6:00 AM!

Back To School Shopping

Consider getting a head start on back to school shopping this year---including school supplies. During the first week of September, there is a mad rush to Staples and other supply stores for folders, pens, pencils, etc., which can make it impossible to find exactly what you need. Gathering school supplies a few weeks early reduces stress and help students be prepared for their first day back.

Quote of the Month
“I am not a teacher; only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead–-ahead of myself as well as of you.”- George Bernard Shaw