It’s pretty easy to feel overwhelmed about the whole process of applying to college. After all, college is nothing like high school. But like everything else in life, all it takes is a great deal of research and preparation—along with some helpful pieces of advice from your parents and people who have already been through the same experience.
So before you submit your application forms, here are 10 things you need to keep in mind:
- Research is important.
Most of the time, a few months before you graduate, schools would already be sending out pamphlets, application forms, and entrance exam reviewers. This is your chance to scout and research about each school. Which one is located closest to where you live? Which one has the best campus? Would the available facilities help you study better? Do they offer the course you want?
Which brings you to the next point you need to consider:
- Understanding myself is vital.
Often you may feel pressured about getting into the same college as your other family members. You may feel pressured to take the same course they took, too. But always remember, your family only wants the best for you. At the end of the day, your own choice matters more. Learn about choosing your college major here.
- Keeping track of time is very important.
Colleges have deadlines—from submission of application letters to schedules of entrance exams. Start following schools’ social media pages and keep links to helpful websites, weeks or even months, before you graduate to keep track of these important details.
- It’s the right time to start being more organized.
Make a list of the schools you’d like to get into—it’s good if you have choices, just in case your original plan doesn’t pan out. Once you’ve made that list, it’s time to send out application forms (or fill them out online). Requirements vary per school, but the most common ones include your birth certificate and a filled out application form. Get the specifics here.
- I need a backup plan.
If things don’t go according to plan, you’ll thank yourself for creating a backup plan. Think ahead and predict situations like not being able to submit important requirements or missing a really crucial deadline and start making a list of backup plans.
- The entrance exams will be more challenging than the application process.
Sounds like a no-brainer, but when you were in high school, the application was easy—the entrance exam was easier, too. College is incredibly different. The application is simpler, especially if your high school would help you when it comes to sending out those letters, but the exams are tough. Learn how to ace those exams here.
- The results aren’t always as expected.
Once you’ve submitted your applications, it can be nerve-wracking to wait for the results. And when they do come, sometimes it’s not going to be at all what you expected. If you don’t get into the school that you like, it doesn’t mean you’re not good enough.
Applying to college can be exciting, challenging, and stressful—all at the same time. But the best thing about it is how you get to learn more about yourself in the process. You start to think more about the future and where you want your life to go.
The key to surviving this transition is to stay true to yourself. Consider all the suggestions and options available to you, but stick to your choices. After all, this is your future we’re talking about. Are you ready?