‘Tis the season to be finishing up your application process and it seems like every year I have a couple of uber-conscientious students asking me for application advice. So this year, I thought I’d spread the joy and share my last minute tips for all, both naughty and nice. Above all, remember that if you want to get the fat envelope present you’re hoping for, it’s paramount to be yourself! In addition, here are some tips to help make your winter break go smoothly…
· When you’re writing your personal essays and short answers, be sure to have a friend/teacher/parent edit your work before you submit it. Yes, checking for grammar and spelling IS important (you don’t want to look careless), but you also want to get a sense for whether or not your writing SOUNDS like you. If it comes across as too wordy, over-written, or cliché, it’s time to edit.
· Second, take a minute and think about telling us a little more about who you are in the “additional information” section of the Common App. Most students ignore that part and I think it’s a missed opportunity to shed some light about yourself. Tell us about a hobby you have, explain a grade trend or choice in classes, or share your to-do list for life… anything goes!
· Don’t forget to double-check with your teachers and counselors that they have submitted their recommendations for you. Many students forget that these wonderful educators are writing dozens (maybe even a hundred) recs this time of year. Tell them how grateful you are for their time and check-in to be sure that your letter has been sent and isn’t hiding under a lump of coal somewhere.
· The clock struck twelve and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a… Whitman applicant? Don’t procrastinate. I know– it sounds obvious, but you would be surprised at how many of your peers put off submitting their application until the last second. I’m talking 2 minutes ‘til midnight on January 15! Don’t be that student. Think about how great it will feel to go back to school after the New Year knowing you’ve already submitted your complete application.
Good luck with everything Friends. We know you’re working hard! Keep it up: graduation is just around the corner.