The Weekly Buzz: Submitting College Applications


Graphic by Sarah Luan

The college application process is a rigorous and time consuming process that require applicants to spend much time writing and self reflecting.

Alyssa Miller

At a time where COVID-19 had forced many changes in school, college applications have been no exception. While the November first deadline has since passed, the second deadline in November is quickly approaching.

“The November first deadlines were super stressful and at times, I felt like I had no clue how to submit anything, but through a lot of work I was finally able to complete them and feel good about my applications,” senior Kelly Meng said.

My first experience applying to colleges was definitely different than I had expected it to be. Without being able to tour any of the schools I was applying to, I had to compensate for that by thoroughly researching each college and going on virtual tours.

I relied heavily on my college counselor’s advice and signed up for several virtual college fairs before narrowing down my list. I found looking at the colleges’ websites and joining online information seminars to be very helpful.

While seeing the dorms and campus from behind a computer screen is not the same as being there to see the school in person, we have to learn to adjust to these changes during our college application process this year.

After creating my list of schools to apply early action to, I began working on my personal essay and supplemental essays as soon as I could. I found that drafting responses to the supplemental essays and gradually editing them throughout the course of a month left me with results that I felt proud to turn in; so I highly recommend planning as far in advance as you can for upcoming applications.

I also downloaded a free browser extension called Grammarly, which automatically spell-checks and highlights any grammar mistakes in your writing, which was extremely helpful for me while I wrote my responses.

I think that the most challenging part of the November first deadlines for me was filling out all the additional information required on the Common App website. This part of the process is very tedious and requires much attention to detail. This portion of the application is one I recommend allocating a large amount of time to completing because the information that you are submitting needs to be an accurate representation of yourself and your high school career.

Once I felt that my responses to the individual college questions and my personal essay were up to par, I was ready to submit everything. That was definitely my favorite part of the application because it felt so rewarding to see my hard work completed and sent off for the colleges to see.

I think that the two biggest lessons I learned from my first experience applying to colleges were that time management is key and that it is much better to allow yourself time to review and edit your work rather than wait until the last minute and submit responses you are not proud of. Secondly, it is very important to keep your college counselor in the loop and reach out to them with any questions or concerns you have, because they are here to help you through this process.

“I think that this year especially has put a lot of stress on the seniors dealing with applying to colleges in light of COVID-19, but we all need to stay positive and look ahead!” Senior Lucas Henry said.