Applying to College: COVID-19 Edition

November 19, 2020
Lisa Gorbati

צ'רי היל, ניו ג'רזי, ארצות הברית

Class of 2021

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It’s that time of year again when high school seniors are becoming more stressed out. No, it’s not just because of school, it’s because of college apps. High school seniors are being slammed with school work, tests and on top of that, they have to submit their college apps on time. The only difference between all of the previous high school seniors and the current seniors is that previously seniors didn’t have to apply during a global pandemic. Applying to college now is a lot different from previous years. I’ve compiled a list of Dos and Don’ts for applying to college: COVID edition.

Do: Start everything early! Make sure to start brainstorming your essay during the summer.

Starting early gives you a huge advantage. Brainstorming ideas for your essays in the summer gives you a headstart to the stressful school year. It is very difficult to balance all of the homework assignments you have while working on college applications. Some schools have early deadlines, so it is especially harder to finish those on time if you don’t start early.

Don’t: Wait until a week before your deadline to start working on your application! 

Please do not do this to yourself! Waiting until the last second to submit your application puts a lot of stress not only on you but also on your teachers and guidance counselors! Teachers have to write and submit your recommendations on time and guidance counselors have to submit your recommendations and transcripts. If you do not give them a due date, the colleges you are applying to will not receive the supplemental information on time. This could be a huge disadvantage to your application!

Do: Attend virtual information sessions and speak to current students since you can’t visit the campus!

Attending virtual information sessions and speaking to current students gives you so much insight into the schools that you are applying to. Attending virtual information sessions also shows demonstrated interest which is something many admissions officers look for when reviewing your application. Admissions officers want students who are passionate about their universities.

Don’t: Write your essay about COVID!

No one likes COVID. Everyone wants this global pandemic to end so that life comes back to normal. No one wants to be reminded of this hard thing we're going through, especially college admissions officers.

Do: Write your personal statement about something that will help you stand out!

Pick a unique topic to write about. Your personal statement should be something that stands out to admissions officers in a good way. Personal statements can boost your applications. This is your chance to show admissions officers your personality! Make sure to be fun and creative!

Remember to keep in mind that this will be a stressful period of time, but in the end, it will be worth it because you will be in college!

Lisa Gorbati is a BBG living in Cherry Hill and loves meeting new people.

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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