The one thing that currently seems to dominate my time and my mind is admission to college. I am at a senior in high school right now, and I'm trying to keep my sanity while dealing with the stressful task of applying to multiple colleges. There are so many different components in the application, and there are varying applications to each school as well. As a senior, you have to find and research each school, find out how to apply, then fill out numerous questions, and write essays. Some schools are on the common application, while some are on the universal application, while some are just altogether on their own application. As if things could already not be confusing enough. As many seniors are finding out right now, applying to college is not as easy as they thought. Or, at least I am. However, the college admission process does not just confuse me; it puts extreme pressure on me. There seems to be this thought in society and at school that you need to be absolutely perfect in school and extracurricular activities so that you can be admitted into the best ivy league schools in the country. I know that I definitely am not this perfect; Harvard and Princeton seem like a far stretch for me. I wish that there could be a simple easy-to-follow set of instructions put out by college admission counselors to help high school students like me find a way to be what they consider "perfect" and a simple set of instructions that I could follow to just find my way through all of the application process.
However, with the further research, I have found that there is some hope out there for me and others in my same predicament. Jay Matthews from the Washington Post wrote an article called "10 Antidotes to College-Application Anxiety" advising high school seniors and those applying to college on ten things they must keep in mind to keep sane when applying to colleges.
1. Getting into an Ivy League school is like winning at roulette: It is a game of chance that has little to do with brains or talent, so stop worrying about it.
2. Don't fret about picking the wrong school. If you find it doesn't suit you, you can always transfer.
3. Treat campus visits like trips to a theme park.
4. You need only two good extracurricular activities.
5. Freaked out by the SAT? Take the ACT.
6. Still bothered by those tests? Apply to a college that doesn't require them.
7. Have fun with your essay.
8. Get off the résumé-building treadmill and do something normal.
9. Look for a place that fits you, and remember that many colleges can meet your needs.
10. Remember: It is your character, not the name of your college, that is likely to bring success.