CHS Almus’ Advice For Tackling College Apps


By Sai Sreenivasan, Observations Editor

As the stressful season of college application begins, here is some advice from CHS alumni on how to make the process easier.
Do: Start Early

The Common App has a plethora of information to fill out and it is better to be early and relaxed rather than be late and stressed out.
“My biggest regret is procrastinating because it was the source of much of my senior year stress,” freshman at Cornell University, Glenna Zhang said.
According to freshman at Duke University, Julia Wang, it’s helpful to finish essays early in order to be able to come back to them with a fresh pair of eyes. Under a time constraint, you do not have the time for multiple reviews.
Do: Be Honest                                                                                                          
“Colleges are not just looking for the best students they want the best students that fit the best with their campus culture, do not make yourself sound fake,” freshman at the University of Pittsburgh, Audrey Case said.
Honesty is the best policy and Case emphasizes that being true to yourself is the best route to take.
Do Not: Apply to Many Schools Just for the Sake of Applying              
“Only apply to schools that you are actually interested in and would really consider going to if you get accepted,” Zhang said.
College applications are not only time-consuming, but also expensive. Minimize stress by going through your list of colleges and deciding which ones truly fit you.
“Apply to your safety schools with the same enthusiasm as you apply to the Ivies,” Case said. “Safety schools should also be schools you seriously consider because there is a greater possibility of getting accepted.”
Do: Ask for help                                                                                                      
“I suggest going to your English teachers for advice on your essays, because input from different perspectives is crucial for improving,” Zhang said.
Although college essays are very personal, your English teachers will be able to give you criticism that you may not receive from a parent or a friend.
Do Not: Lose Your Voice                                                                                      
Although it is great to get input on your essays, it is important to make sure that your essays still sound like you.
According to freshman at Cornell, Emily Chow, a good essay should incorporate your personality or else the college won’t be able to get a grasp on who you are. Furthermore, if your essay does not reflect you, then the college may not be accepting the right student.
Do Not: Stress out                                                                                                  
According to Chow, don’t over stress about the process. “It’s not about being the absolute best,” Chow said.

Instead, she suggests focusing on accomplishments and communicating that effectively through the essays and supplementals.