Ask Carol

“Hi Carol! I’m so stressed about applying to college! There is so much I have to do! Do you have any advice on how I should approach college applications? – Apprehensive Angie”

Hi Angie! Applying for college is a super stressful time for everyone, so you’re definitely not alone! If you’re only a junior my biggest tip is to start early! The earlier you start the process, the easier it will be in the long run. This includes visiting schools as well as taking your standardized tests. It is important that you make note of which tests you need to take for the schools you’re looking at. Some schools only require one test, some require none, some require subject tests, etc. It’s easiest to make sure you take any tests you need as soon as possible otherwise you’ll be stressed about it as the date approaches. Now, if you’re a senior and your deadlines are already approaching, never fear, I have tips for you, too! Remember, you should keep yourself organized! There is no specific way to do this, whatever works for you personally is fine. It is so essential to keep yourself organized and to keep track of deadlines. For example, I myself created a table with all my schools, their application deadlines, their application requirements and whether or not they offer interviews and if so, when I have them scheduled. Something as simple as that has been a major help in keeping me organized. Also, if you don’t already have teacher recommendations, you should definitely ask for them now. There is no time to waste with letters of recommendation since teachers are on busy schedules too, so you have to give them sufficient time to write you a proper letter! As far as the essay goes, don’t freak yourself out too much. It is a personal essay so the only thing you have to make sure you do (besides using proper mechanics and grammar) is say something about you! Colleges want to know who you are as a person and this essay is critical to that. You don’t have to have some fantastic story about traveling to the Himalayas or finding the cure for cancer in order to have an essay that works. Also, don’t forget use your resources! You definitely aren’t alone in this process and the fact that you reached out to me is a good first step. Make sure you utilize your school counselor, your English teacher, and any other resource you might have at your fingertips. Lastly, take a minute to breathe and remember that no matter what happens, everything will turn out okay. Try to stay calm and before you know it, all your applications will be submitted! Thank you for your question and good luck in your college endeavors!

Best Wishes,

Carol

“Dear Carol, this year I have two classes where I have absolutely no friends. Everyday I dread going to these classes, even though I really enjoy the subjects. What should I do? – Friendless Fiona”

Hi Fiona. I think we’ve all been in a situation like this at one point or another during high school. I’ll be honest with you, it really stinks not having a friend in your classes. However, there are some ways to help make this class less of a drag. Since you really enjoy the subjects, try to focus on the work. I know that might sound boring, but it is a good way to keep your mind off of the fact that you have no friends! Besides focusing completely on the school work, you can try to open yourself up to at least one other person in the class. There’s bound to be someone in your class that you can relate to on some level, you just have to take that first step and introduce yourself. I know it’s really scary to talk to someone you’re not friends with or may not even know, but having someone to be partners with or someone to give “the look” to when your teacher says something ridiculous can be a big help. You two may not become the best of friends but acquaintances can go a long way in a class like that. Thank you for your question Fiona and I really hope that I could be of help to you!

Best Wishes,

Carol

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