Posts Tagged ‘college application process’

Stress Management in the College Application Process

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

College Calendar

Applying to college is a stressful time for everyone. That period of summer to winter of Junior year is a writhing mass of personal essays, standardized testing and maintaining grades and extracurricular activities. It can be so easy to get caught up in the “stressing culture”, but there are actually ways to avoid the proverbial ‘struggle bus.’ Some people argue that they need stress to keep them focused and motivated in the application process… No! There is never a need for stress. Stress is the result of life overload. Too many things happening at once that manifests itself in a feeling of exhaustion and weariness. Despite our understanding of the evils that stress brings we do, more often than not, let it into our lives and dictate the hours of sleep we get each night. (more…)

How Many Colleges are Too Many to Apply to?

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013
Applying to college

Applying to college

107.  That’s the exact answer to that question; 107 colleges are too many to apply to.  Of course though, this exact answer is unhelpful as you already knew it.  A sarcastic blogger who herself applied to more than a dozen but less than a score back in her (hey?)day, didn’t need to tell you that.  You already knew that 107 colleges are too many to apply to, but the other answer–the inexact answer about how it depends on you and your goals and your precise situation–that answer is so inexact!  And that’s what we college aspirants like to avoid: inexactitude.  What a pickle, what a pickle. (more…)

The Importance of Extracurricular Activities

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Extracurricular Activities

How much do colleges care about my extracurricular activities?  Is it really important to have them?

Extracurricular activities are a vital part of any college application.  They are not merely window dressing or gold star bonuses, but an essential component of what a student can present to a college admissions officer.  If you are a sophomore or junior without extracurriculars, today is the day to involve yourself in clubs, teams, service organizations, arts groups, or whatever interests you outside of class.

These extracurricular activities help give admissions officers a rounder sense of who you are, what you like, and what you value.  Your performance in class is obviously of paramount importance, but it only tells part of your story.  Colleges are not only interested in serious learners, but passionate doers as well.  Beyond showing a willingness to work hard and devote yourself to causes larger than yourself, your extracurricular activities let a college know that you are an artist, an athlete, a politico, or all three.  They show that you are an engaged member of your community.

In shaping a freshman class, an admissions officer is looking not only for the most qualified candidates but also for a group people of diverse interests.  By filling up a community with people passionately interested in multiple avenues, an admissions officer can ensure a vibrant campus.

Extracurricular activities not only show what you have done, but what you will do on campus.  Colleges live and thrive on the passion of their students, and an admissions officer wants to be sure you will do your part. If you are the kind of student who merely goes home and hits the books or watches TV after school, it’s time for a change.  Join a team, audition for a play, volunteer at a soup kitchen or nursery.  Everyone has a responsibility to energize their communities and colleges expect that you will fulfill that duty.