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Application Tips, Part Two

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Let’s just get straight into it–seniors, listen well. Or don’t, do whatever you think is best. I’m by no means an expert.

4. Try and finish your applications before the deadline. This is actually separate from getting things in on time. This is for your own well-being. I sent in nine college applications. When I got out of school for winter break, I set a schedule. If I could finish one application a day for nine days, I could finish by Christmas Eve. It was a smart idea. It was also one I did not follow through on. I ended up maniacally finishing all nine in a mad dash over two or three days because it was so incredibly stressful. I did my work carefully and took my time, but I found it less stressful to finish them as early as possible. Do everything at your own pace and make sure you’re thorough. This is important. However, don’t let it take over your life because it will be stressful and it might make you miserable. I’m sorry, but that’s how it worked out for me. Hopefully you’ll feel better about applications. And if not, you only have to do them once!

5. Proofread. Proofread. Proofread!!! If you misspell your name, your school’s name, your parents’/guardians’ names, your counselor’s name, your activity/club names, or ANYTHING in your essays, things may go south for you. Again, I can’t speak for any admissions officers, but I personally care a lot about grammar and would be disappointed if a potential student didn’t care enough to read through their application, check that you used the right “your,” “you’re,” “their,” “there,” and “they’re,” etc. You get it. Just be careful! Of course, now that I said that there are probably at least eight typos in this post, so.

6. Be genuine. Yep. I said it. Be yourself. Don’t fake it. Admission officers like to see the real you, believe it or not. I’ve been working on filing interview notes the past few days, and from what I can tell, the officers get most excited about people being themselves and showing off their true personalities. They want to see if you have what it takes to be a Whittie, and if they’re basing that decision on a fake persona you’ve made up, who’s to say you’ll fit in here at all? From what I’ve learned of Whitties over the past semester, they’re genuine, intelligent, friendly, genuine, noncompetitive (except in IM sports, those can get violent), caring, genuine, interesting, quirky, and genuine. Did I mention genuine? Everyone I’ve met has really embraced who they are and what they love (if they’ve found it). Whitman wants to get to know the real you, so show us!

7. Finally, don’t kill yourselves. Actually enjoy yourselves over your break, please. Please!!! Hang out with friends. Read a good book (I’d recommend Vonnegut, if you haven’t read him before). Go see The Hobbit. Bake some cookies. Sleep as much as is humanly possible.

One final note about how awesome Whitman is: we have finals next week, unlike many colleges, making this week and next week incredibly stressful. But today I got not one, but two goody bags/care packages, one from the Intercultural Center and one from my hall. Yeah. Whitman rocks. Good luck all you seniors!!!

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