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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Senior Survival Checklist

As senior year progresses, my anxiety (and enthusiasm!!) for college applications continues to grow at a breakneck pace. For my fellow seniors (or forward-thinking juniors who want to know what is to come), I assembled some tips to help keep you on track.

1. Keep the deadlines in mind.
By this point in your high school career, it is more than likely that at some point, you had to turn something in late. It is even more likely that there were no major consequences. Unfortunately, it is not this way for college deadlines. With tens of thousands applicants to deal with, universities simply can not accept late applications. And with most private colleges having varying deadlines (and with even more deadlines to remember if you are considering applying for a scholarship), I would highly recommend taking note of all of them in a place that you can see everyday, such as a calendar. Always keep in mind: there is early action and regular action, but no such thing as a late action.

2. Study Hard
Since the beginning of freshman year, I've heard that all the hard work of high school pays off in senior year, which is a breeze compared to hectic junior year. Now that I am a senior, I find some of those claims misleading. Although I do have a reduced workload (thanks to a lack of AP history notes), that is more than made up by working on college applications. And in case you didn't know, senior grades do count in first semester and are the most reliable and recent information for colleges to see how you are as a student. So keep on trucking for the final stretch!

3. Mind your limits
 Although it is very tempting to apply to all 50 colleges on your list, it should be no surprise that it is impossible to do so while retaining your sanity. Between writing countless essays, participating in extracurricular activities, and keeping grades up, there are simply not enough hours in a day (yes, even if you pull several all-nighters). So keep it reasonable. Most people find around 10-15 colleges to be doable given the relatively short time frame for submitting applications.

4. Take a Deep Breath
It's more than easy to get caught up in applications and feel massively overwhelmed, so remember to relax once in a while. Instead of using that lunch period as a cram session for physics, consider going out to eat with your friends instead. Try to pick up a book that you weren't assigned to read for English. Or maybe go out on a nature walk one weekend to gain some perspective. And just keep this in the back of your mind: if, when all the dust settles, you don't get into your dream school, it's not the end of the world. You can be happy and get a quality education no matter where you end up.

Written by Jenna M., Homework Assistant 

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