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Journals

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Senior Year & Applying to College

October 1, 2012   

I know that senior year can be stressful when dealing with the college process; it is a time of uncertainty, which can be undeniably anxiety provoking. However, I’m here to tell you that, as long as you approach the process with the right attitude, it can be exciting rather than scary! I’m going to give you a couple pieces of advice, which will hopefully help you to get through the process.

Visit a lot of different colleges.

When you visit colleges, pick a large array of them. Don’t only visit colleges that you are certain you will like. Seeing the colleges I didn’t like turned out to be just as powerful as seeing the ones I did. It helped me to see and understand the qualities in a school that I did want, versus the qualities I wasn’t so fond of. Also, you never know! You might love a school that you had negative preconceptions of, or didn’t necessarily consider before. I went on college tours with my best friend from high school (I attached a picture of the two of us), who hadn’t considered touring at Hamilton, but, because it was on my list, she ended up visiting it. After seeing it, she applied ED to Hamilton and is now a student here!

Have a wide-ranging list of colleges.

Make sure you don’t apply to only “reach” schools, or put all of your eggs into one college basket! This will make the process a lot more stressful than it has to be. Make sure your list includes, on top of schools that you hope to get into, schools that you will probably get into. And make sure that you love every school that is on your list. I know when I was applying to colleges, I valued each school I applied to for varying reasons, but I knew that I would be happy at all of them, which gave me at least a little peace of mind.

Meet and talk to a student from the school, if it’s possible.

I’ll be honest, it’s hard to get a full idea of what a school is like just from a tour or an interview. Talking to a student from the school is one of the only ways that you can get a very real, candid, and unbiased view of the school. If you know of a student from your high school, or a friend of a friend, I would definitely consider meeting them on campus for a drink or a meal. They can tell you about the classes, the students, the social life, and anything else that you might be curious about.

DON’T STRESS!

I know, I know. Easier said than done. But hopefully if you put together a list of schools that you love, some of which you are fairly certain you will get into, then the process will be much less intimidating.

Good luck, guys. You will get into schools, and everything will work out. So enjoy your senior (or junior) year(s) with your friends and family, and get excited! There are so many wonderful schools out there, and if you end up going to Hamilton, the Hill will be lucky to have you.