It's college application time! Before you (and your parents) start to freak out, remember to stay organized, don't wait, and check out these tips on what doesn't matter in your application.
1. Don't Include Things From Before High School
Like any type of application, you want to show off your best qualities. When thinking about this, you might be tempted to include everything that you've been involved with since birth. That's not necessary! Unless you've had an outstanding achievement like performing on a prominent stage or starting your own charity, only include achievements that reflect who you are today. If it helps, make a timeline of your accomplishments and decide the best ones to include in your college application.
2. Don't Include Irrelevant Activities
Again, only look at activities you've started since high school. An exception is if you've been involved in an activity before high school and it is still an important part of your life. Skip activities you've participated in for a year or less. If you're not sure, you can ask your counselor. Also, leave out hobbies you like to do in your spare time like fishing or playing tennis.
3. Don't Use Unnecessarily Big Words
It's natural to want to appear smart in your college application but the truth is, you won't be your authentic self. This doesn't mean to write however you want. You still want to give some thought to the questions being asked and come up with the best way to say it. So instead of looking up synonyms for fancier words, write it out how you would normally do then go back and improve it. A good rule to follow is to ask yourself if you would use this word in regular conversation or writing. And remember to ask a counselor to proofread.
4. Distinguish Personal from Appropriate Information
Maybe you've been in a situation where you worked two jobs in order to help your family pay bills and you couldn't participate in as many school activities as you would like. This is an example of appropriate information to include on your college application. This will help them understand you and not throw out your application. The birthday party you had where your little brother dropped cake on your new dress is a funny story but an example of personal information you should leave out.
5. It's Not All About The Essay
Many students and parents think the rest of the application isn't as important as the essay portion. Students will quickly fill out the beginning of the application and spend most of their time on the essay. Yes, wanting to give the perfect essay answer is important but colleges want to know your personality, things you're interested in, your grades, and your potential. The essay is a factor in this but not the entire focus. Remember that every part of the application is just as important.
Join VIP Voice to enter a $5,000 scholarship! No essay required.