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Seniors Prepare for College Applications

By Rachel Russman

With the November 1st deadline only a week away, college applications, seniors are thinking about one thing only.
Whether it is Early Decision, Early Action or even Regular Admission, the deadlines are approaching quickly. The seniors can be heard throughout the halls discussing how many essays they have to write and how they are going to get those done. Three seniors, Justin Mendelsberg, Gabriella Alter and Ricky Miller gave insight as to how they are managing preparations for this upcoming deadline.

Q: How are you managing between school work and college applications while they are due in a week?

Justin: I started doing them really early so I only had to spend about 10 minutes every night working on them.

Gabi: Honestly, sacrificing sleep is the only reason I am managing both school work and college application stress. The nights really aren’t long enough to complete all my work, so I usually don’t get much sleep. Also, this year I definitely learned the importance of prioritizing my work.

Ricky: I happen to be in a number of labor intensive classes, and, granted, if only for the sake of my anxiety, I would often rather be able to devote my time to applications. Especially now that things have come down to the wire, I’m happy to avail myself of the free time I can get to work on essays. It has been my experience that the only truly time consuming facet of application is composing those essays, and writing essays also happens to be the majority of the homework I do for classes like AP Euro and English. If there’s one thing that churning out reams of pages per week has reinforced for me it’s that the speed and quality of one’s writing is wholly contingent on inspiration. You can’t write if you don’t know what to say, hopefully I’ll finally figure out what I want to say on my apps before time runs out.

Q: Who or what has helped you get through the college application process the most?

Justin: It has been a mix between Google and Rabbi Fligelman.

Gabi: There are so many people who have greatly contributed to the progression of the college app process. For one, my parents. They helped me come up with my essay topics, helped me write my essays, helped me edit my essays, helped me calm down every time I freaked out from the stress, and they helped me feel confident with my entire application. My English teacher, Dr. Cheney has helped me edit and shape my essays, and Dr. Hein made sure that all of my writing assignments, including essays and activities resume, are in the right format. I also received help from Mrs. Goldstein for my essays

Ricky: Definitely my parents–being the middle child, having parents who have been through the process once before is an invaluable asset. They knew to nag me early on about getting my standardized testing done, help to monitor all the moving parts of applications that need to be requested and completed, and have practiced insight as to where one should look for potential essay topics.

Q: Any advice to juniors on the college application process?

Justin: I suggest writing your essays in the summer or you will be way to overwhelmed during the year which I wish I would have done.

Gabi: START EARLY!!!!! My only regret is that I didn’t do any work over the summer for college. Also, start thinking about what kind of college you want to be a part of. Not necessarily which specific college, but what type of college. What occupation do you want to pursue when you’re older? Do you want to go to a big college with a huge campus and an enormous amount of students, or a small tight-knit college with very few students. What kind of classes do you enjoy? Lectures, or more intimate? It’s a lot to think about, and you won’t fully realize what you want until the time comes when you have to choose, but it’s something to think about so that you’re prepared for senior year.

Ricky: People will hype how arduous and nerve wracking the process is, and it can often seem to those on the brink of getting started as though some herculean task looms over the horizon. But applications are the culmination of three or more years of your life. If you start testing early so you don’t end up in a frenzied panic during November, and you take the time to investigate a few schools, you’ll be surprised and dismayed how little you have left to do in the autumn–because the only things left are essays. They’re tough. But once you seize upon a good idea, your voice will flow, and that’s all anyone is looking for.

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