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College concepts

Lots and lots of colleges.

Lots and lots of colleges.

John Purcell, Staff Reporter

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The past year has been hard for the senior class of 2017, as many of the students weren’t quite sure what colleges they wanted to attend or were even looking for when applying. Solutions for this problem are very scarce and the best one that I can think of is telling the upcoming senior class what their peers believe colleges would want, what an ideal student would be, as well as what colleges actually want from a student. May I start by saying that the class of 2018 is much more prepared than I was. The students that I talked to had a very similar definition of an ideal student that most colleges hold. One of the best tips that I can give to readers is to stay calm. I can’t begin to tell you how many sleepless nights I had over the thought of not getting accepted into the college of my dreams. It is best to just stay calm and accept that you may not get in and there is nothing more that you can do besides wait and hope.

The first thing that students should know is that extracurricular activities are one of the most important things that you will need. A student that plays a lot of sports and helps by doing charity work will stand out a lot more than a student that goes home every day and naps away their life. This is because it actively demonstrates certain qualities that makes a student look “peachy”. They demonstrate qualities such as leadership, a sense of social responsibility, a commitment of service, as well as special talents and abilities. Through community service and school sports you can attain and cultivate these qualities, as well as getting the all-important recommendations from your adult peers and superiors.

Many of the people that I have known throughout my educational life have asked me “are recommendations really that important? I have the grades so why should some random person’s recommendation matter?” I can tell you with all honesty that they matter because we could all be terrible people. Seriously, how is a college supposed to know that we aren’t just a bunch of terrible people that just want to party and have as much fun as possible? There is no way of them possibly knowing that we aren’t a bunch of degenerate sub-humans without someone of a higher status telling them that we aren’t complete trash. Colleges can be very picky about these sort of things so having as many people as possible saying you are a decent person, that deserves to get into their fancy “high end” college is essential to getting accepted.

Status and grades are two very important things to consider when applying to a college, I cannot stress this enough, it is all about what you think a college wants of a student and how you will apply that to yourself. I asked a few students from the class of 2018 what they thought would be the qualities colleges desire. It didn’t really surprise me when I started getting similar answers, as we have been taught from day one what a good student should be. Emma Tingle (11) said “I think GPA and the classes you taken are what colleges look for”. When I went to William and Mary I met a lady from the admissions office who told me that one of her favorite essays was about how a boy lost his shoe and how that made him decide to apply to William and Mary. They don’t want a kiss up or someone who brags about how great they are, they want to laugh and be amused.

Honestly the application process isn’t as bad as everyone makes it out to be, sure it is long and a little tedious and for some reason colleges ask if you have car insurance (I’m sure its because they want to see how responsible you are), but if you stick with it you will be fine. Just remember that colleges are looking for leaders that are backed up by their peers. As long as you keep to these you should be just fine and from then on your chances of getting into that college depend entirely on your grades and extracurricular activities. With this information in mind make sure to keep a cool head and don’t let it all overwhelm you. Most of all, good luck to the class of 2018 you are going to need it.

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College concepts