By Ronvel Sharper
Going to college is the dream and aspiration of many students and their parents in Richmond. But the road to college is a grueling and tough one, with deadlines to submit college applications, not to mention the already stressful amount of homework you have to pull through.
I was overwhelmed by the amount of homework I had to do, and the fact that I had no experience filling out college applications made it even harder. I considered my college applications to be the priority and put my schoolwork to the side. As a result, my grades dropped, and my parents thought I was slacking.
I would recommend that future seniors try to balance out their schoolwork and their college applications during this time, and even limit their social life. This ain’t no joke if you’re really attempting to go to college. In my opinion, applying may be the hardest part of this whole college business. The only reason I’ve lasted this long is mainly because my parents keep pushing me to do well and succeed.
Although they aren’t as complex as I expected them to be, college applications can still be pretty unforgiving if you’re not prepared to tackle them. They have long insight questions that are required to be quick yet descriptive at the same time, and for students like me, who prefer to get things done on their own, you actually have to talk to your parents just to get through an entire section of the process. You need all of your information ready. A good way to prepare for this is to have a couple of quick answers ready beforehand. Usually insight questions ask the same thing, such as “What event in your childhood showed that you have leadership skills?” or “What have you done for your community?” Just write down something that is quick and to the point (around 350 words) and get done with it. I suggest saving your work on Google drive or something, as scholarship applications ask the same questions. Save your answers, and you’ll basically have an answer to almost every scholarship question.
Kalanna Naquin, 17, said she expected colleges to only ask for her test scores and grades. She was surprised that she had to write long essays about herself. She said filling out college applications was much more time consuming than she thought it would be.
To future seniors, Naquin recommends that they “do everything early and do not procrastinate. Print copies of everything because things do get lost and you do have to turn things in.”
Some seniors, however, had more positive experiences.
Esmeralda Cervantes, 17, said her experience with college applications was easier than she expected.
“The application process is quicker than what people say it is, as long as you don’t procrastinate and start working on it until the last minute like I did, because then it becomes really stressful and you get worked up. I thought it would take like 5-plus days and I finished mine in two days.”
College-bound juniors should take heed of what this year’s seniors have to say. The college process is different for each of us, but it doesn’t change the fact that if you don’t focus, you’re in for a stressful time.