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Why Getting Started in the College Application Process Early Is a Good Idea

The college application process is a journey, not a destination. It’s a time to explore your interests, learn about yourself, and figure out the many different paths you can as you launch into this big wide world! 

But the journey can be daunting, especially if you’re unsure where to start. That’s why it’s important to start early.

When you start early, you give yourself time to explore your options. You can visit different colleges, talk to current students and alumni, and research different programs. You can also take the time to improve your grades and test scores and write strong essays.

But why is starting early so important?

There are so many reasons WHY!! 

First, starting early gives you more time to explore your options. There are so many great colleges out there, and it can be hard to decide which ones are right for you. By starting early, you can visit colleges, research their programs, and talk to current students and alumni. This will help you get a better sense of what each school has to offer and make an informed decision about where to apply.

Second, starting early gives you more time to improve your grades and test scores. If your grades and test scores aren’t where you want them to be, starting early gives you more time to improve them. Many resources are available to help you, such as tutoring, summer programs, and online courses.

Third, starting early gives you more time to write and revise (and revise and revise) strong essays. The essays are one of the most important parts of your college application, so it’s important to take your time and write them well. Starting early will give you more time to brainstorm ideas, get feedback, and revise your essays.

Finally, starting early can help you reduce stress. The college application process can be stressful, but it’s much easier to manage if you start early. By giving yourself plenty of time to do your research, improve your grades, and write your essays, you can reduce the stress and focus on getting into your dream school.

So how do you get started early?

Here are a few tips:

  • Start thinking about your course of study. What are you interested in studying? What are your career goals? Once you know what you want to study, you can start researching colleges with strong programs in that area. Check out the Common Data set and get a sense of what colleges are looking for in their candidates. (Section C7) 
  • Plan summer jobs and internships. Summer jobs and internships can help you gain valuable experience and learn more about your field of interest. They can also help you build your resume and write strong essays.
  • Take the time to visit colleges and research. Visit as many colleges as possible and talk to current students and alumni. This will help you get a feel for the different schools and decide which ones are a good fit for you.
  • Start brainstorming ideas for your essays. The essays are your chance to tell your story and why you want to attend college. Start brainstorming ideas early so you have plenty of time to write strong essays. We love it when students read the prompt sophomore and junior years so they are grounded on future expectations. 

And don’t forget to reduce the stress by taking tiny steps over time. (CREATE checklists!) The college application process can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. 

Break it down into smaller steps and take one step at a time. By starting early and taking tiny steps, this process will be deliberate, simple, and joyful. 

Remember, the journey is equally as important as the outcome! 

So enjoy the process so that by the end of the process, you will know where you want to go, what you want to do, and who you want to be! 

Here are some other things to consider:  

  • Start with why. What’s your purpose for going to college? What do you want to achieve? When you know your why, it will be easier to stay motivated throughout the application process.
  • Be authentic. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Colleges want to get to know the real you, so be honest and genuine in your essays and applications.
  • Don’t be afraid to take risks. If you want to get into your dream school, you’ll need to stand out from the crowd. Don’t be afraid to take risks and show colleges what makes you unique.

I believe in you!

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