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College Prep

Ariel Rademeyer

Sunrises, sunsets, sunglasses, beautifully warm beaming sun rays, and tanning while completely slathered in sunscreen depict the ideal Summer vacation. After the most dreaded time for high school students, Junior year, we finally have begun approaching the end. With summer break right around the corner, this presents upcoming Seniors with the perfect opportunity for daily ritual beach trips and time for rising Seniors to begin considering the realities of this college application season. 

While the highly anxiety-inducing sentiment of applying to a college may appear quite intimidating, the process, if pragmatically planned and thought out, is not as bad as portrayed in a coming-of-age high school movie. 

The majority of the college application process takes place on a marvelous program known as the CommonApp. The CommonApp is a college application form utilized by over 900 colleges, where students may submit their GPA, extracurriculars, and SAT/ACT score onto a singular platform for the majority of schools that a student within the U.S. applies. 

Despite the inability to know the CommonApp supplemental essay topics, we still may brainstorm broad ideas that pertain similarly to past essay subjects. When considering what to select as a supplemental essay subject, we must think outside the box. Each year, colleges receive thousands of common essays on how an athlete’s sports injury showed an individual’s dedication to the sport or the impact of an upsetting occurrence and how one prevailed. Colleges aspire to read a lucid and compelling paper on a topic specific to the applicant- an essay that no one else could compose. Several of the best-written essay topics highlight an arbitrary object and its emotional impact or even build upon the ideas of a random thought.

The first order of business that should be considered when filling out the CommonApp is resume building. Resume building refers to generating a list of proficient skills, significant experiences, awards, and education completed, transferred onto a neatly organized document. This document will concisely display basic information and achievements/experiences endured by an individual. If composed neatly and legible, a resume provides colleges with a brief overview of a potential candidate for their college. 

Additionally, it is crucial to understand the benefits of developing extracurricular activities. The enhancement of one’s extracurriculars demonstrates to colleges an authentic engagement with activities outside of the classroom. However, these extracurricular activities should not be arbitrary, and instead, they should build upon where the applicant appreciates spending their time, aside from education. Mirroring one’s extracurriculars with the applicant’s intended major, such as a business major competing in the DECA competition, indicates that an individual has worked with activities that will benefit their future endeavors. 

There are several different options when deciding what extracurriculars to attempt. If one is still in the Freshman and Sophomore years, then trying out a diversity of clubs or sports may help narrow down what an individual truthfully enjoys. As for myself, I anticipate majoring in Communications/Journalism and have been positioned as Editor-In-Chief of my school’s newspaper, The Nease Vertical.

With this in mind, high school is a time of branching out and finding out the type of person you aspire to become. Explore options, and become prepared for the future.