It’s not as anxious or stressful as all that for the students I know. We have been working for months around projects, extracurricular activities, AP testing, entrance exam testing and final exams to piece together all the information they will need for an outstanding college application.
For many of these students, the process started a year or maybe two years ago. Most couldn’t understand why I wanted them to write about some random topic and then critique their submissions. Some whined at being asked to set goals for the semester and few followed through with contacting the top colleges on their lists when asked to do so. But now, the reason for doing all those little things is coming into focus. As the launch of college applications loom and the dates that colleges will begin accepting them inches ever closer, those students who have all their essays written, letters of recommendation requested and a solid SAT or ACT score in their back-pocket – life is good.
Don’t be misled in thinking that all the students I know are floating away on Cloud 9 for the summer with no cares about their college applications. A few of them are only recently off square one. They are typically students who hold as a badge of honor “doing their best work under pressure.” Somehow the fact that the last minutes of a deadline is the only time they actually turn their full attention to a project is lost on them, but I have no influence beyond giving my best advice.
With changes in the application process happening every year, it is more important than ever that students gather all their information earlier than expected. Who knew that the Common Application would be available to anyone at their leisure last year and that the ApplyTexas application would launch in July this year? Hopefully, everyone has heard by now that the FAFSA is not filed in January any longer…
For the most part, I am happy with my rising seniors. As a group, they are further along than students in former years. For my stragglers, the first part of their summer will be dedicated to me and their overdue work. I expect that by the end of June, we can all take a deep breath before launching into the next application season.