Get Ready Seniors… It’s College Application Season.

Photo via The Princeton Review

Photo via The Princeton Review

Attention all college bound Seniors! The season of senioritis is right around the corner, but until then, college application submission deadlines are coming up fast and it’s as daunting as ever. 

Surface level observation and general assumption can group most prospective applicants into these groups: The eager, the procrastinator, the athlete, and the hail mary. 

The Eager: The eager students will most often be those who only talk about college and how well they’re prepared for the application season. These students will never miss the chance to bring up college in a conversation. They will likely have had a finalized list of colleges by Junior year, a finished personal essay months before the deadline, have listened to college admissions podcasts and watched those “How to get into ______ College” YouTube videos in their limited free time. These students won’t flinch at the notorious “what colleges are you looking at” question from curious peers.

The Procrastinator: As one of the most common categories of applicants, the procrastinator prevails and pressures prospective students. Unfortunately, if you fall within this category it might feel hard to get out of it. College applications are wedged right in with school work, activities, sports, and other commitments. Procrastinators must buckle down and rally when it comes to application season, although it feels like dragging your feet. If not now, then when?

The Athlete: Often thought of to have an easy ticket into college, student athletes actually have a lot on their plates. Between everyday practices, frequent games/competitions, and stress over recruitment, these prospective students must find time to keep up with their school work. Late nights and energy drinks become a major part of a student athlete’s lifestyle. With athletic scholarships in mind and D1 dreams, these applicants are always looking for goals to reach, and score, of course.

The Hail Mary: This student exists as a variant of the Procrastinator. They will most likely push their applications off until the last minute and even then not be able to finish. A prospective college list often isn’t a second, nor a third choice. The Hail Mary student differs from our Procrastinator in that one is willing to give minimal effort when it comes to their applications. This student will bank on luck and prayers to get them into a good enough college, rather than effort and dedication. Don’t be this student.

Whether you fit into one of these categories or maybe somewhere in between, it’s important to remember that this point in your life is extremely stressful and hectic. The way you handle your stress and manage your time will make a huge difference in the way your application journey will play out. To present yourself in the best way possible, you must be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Here are some tips for each of the four generalized categories: 

(Note these categories are generalized based on common stereotypes. An offensive undertone is in no way implied in this article.)

The Eager:

  • Don’t overload yourself with pressure, college apps shouldn’t be the root of your existence. I know that’s hard to hear, but it’s true.
  • Every school is a great school. Rejection from the school of your dreams is hard, but it’s not the end of the world. 
  • Take it one step at a time. Enjoy your high school years as much as possible.

The Procrastinator:

  • Focus on one task at a time.
  • Make a spreadsheet or calendar to map out deadlines 
  • Create a timeline and personal due dates for yourself to complete essays. This way, they won’t all pile up a day before applications are due.

The Athlete:

  • Remember to not only rest your body, but your brain.
  • Recruitment is just one part of the process, don’t let it get to your head and fog your game day mentality
  • Always remember to keep up with academics although it may get tough in the midst of a sports season.

The Hail Mary:

  • Organize a spreadsheet of every college you might be interested in, then narrow them down based on your academic and lifestyle preferences
  • Try to get started on at least the introduction paragraphs of your large and supplemental essays
  • Spread out application work days 
  • Allocate one hour to just entering in personal data into your common app or coalition to get it over with.


Feel free to take as much or as little advice as you please. And remember, every applicant is a strong applicant, no matter your presumed weaknesses.