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The Smoke Signal

An open letter to future college applicants

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PV Senior Eva Rosini offers some advice to make the college application process less stressful.

PV Senior Eva Rosini offers some advice to make the college application process less stressful.

Molly Heintze

Molly Heintze

PV Senior Eva Rosini offers some advice to make the college application process less stressful.

Eva Rosini, Staff Writer

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Dear Underclassmen,

I’m not going to sugarcoat it: the college application process is stressful.  I’m sure my fellow seniors will agree that after clicking that last “Submit” button on the Common Application, they felt the weight of the world come off their shoulders.  But, although we seniors don’t have to bear the weight of college applications until the much-anticipated decisions are released, for the rest of you, the worst is yet to come.  Lucky for you, I am going to pass on some of my knowledge to make the experience a little less unpleasant.

First of all, get started early.  I suggest asking teachers for recommendations by the end of junior year at the latest.  College recommendations take time, and you want to make sure that your teachers have enough to write yours.  Also, with regards to recommendations, choose teachers who can truly convey the type of student and person you are.  That last thing you want is something generic.

What was (or do you anticipate to be) the most difficult part of the college application process?

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To those who believe they do their best writing at 3 a.m. the day of a deadline, that is not going to work on the personal essay and supplemental essays.  I wrote nine different personal essays until I finally wrote a version that was exactly the way I wanted it.  I have friends who spent New Year’s Eve sitting at home writing essays because they had ten unfinished supplements and three Jan. 1 deadlines.  The sooner you start, the less it piles up, and the easier the process will be.

The last piece of advice that I want to give you is to listen to your parents.  Even though it seems like they applied to college centuries ago, they usually know what’s best.  The same goes for your teachers and guidance counselors.  They are incredible resources, and, believe it or not, usually have your best interest in mind.  I remember freshman year my guidance counselor told me to keep track of my extra-curricular activities in Naviance, but I decided that my memory was much better than a website.  Of course I was wrong, and when the time came, I couldn’t remember anything I had done over the past four years.

Just remember that college applications are not the end of the world.  If you keep yourself organized and time it right, applications can be a breeze.

Your trusted Senior,

Eva Rosini

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Pascack Valley High School's Official News Site: Where there's smoke, there's fire.
An open letter to future college applicants