Don’t Go Solo!
The Importance of a College Application Buddy (or Two… or Three)
by Laurel Griffiths
I work as an education counselor at Dunce Labs. This means that I help students find opportunities in high school, figure out what they are really passionate about, and make plans for what they want to do after high school.
Of course, now it’s the busy season. It’s college application time!
Here’s one thing that people often don’t talk about:
Applying to college can be extremely isolating.
You have to spend hours sitting in front of a computer and filling out forms.
You have to rack your brain and write about yourself as being different and unique from others.
Your dreams and aspirations may not be the same as the expectations that your parents, your friends, and your teachers have of you.
And you may be realizing that, in the end, this is your life, and you are ultimately responsible for that life.
But have no fear, young Jedi. You don’t have to go solo. You can bring a wookiee (or a few wookiees) with you!
Don’t do your college applications alone. Do them with friends.
- It will be more fun. College applications are hard. They aren’t known for inspiring parties. Change that. Filling out forms online is way better if you’re sitting around a table with friends, listening to music, and eating pizza. Plus, it’s easier to get excited about a pizza application work party than to get pumped about sitting alone in your bedroom filling out forms.
- You will actually do your applications. Because college applications are so daunting, people procrasinate. But, if you have a pact with your friends, there will be more people around you doing their applications and pestering you. This kind of pressure is good. You’ll be accountable to others. (And it’s way better to have your friends nagging you than your parents.)
- You have others to bounce ideas off of. Not sure where to start on a resume? Can’t remember all the details of that really amazing field trip that you want to include in your essay? Stuck in the middle of an essay? With application buddies, you have ready-made sounding boards.
- When you get discouraged (or when the application website crashes for the TENTH time), someone is there to show you a funny YouTube video or to crack a joke or give you a hug. Your application buddies are going through the same things you are. They get it. Let them support you!
Put some thought into who you want to be your application wookiee. Like Chewbacca, you want someone who is dependable, who will help you when you’re down, and who will be by your side through think and thin.
Also, come up with a bit of a structure or schedule for getting stuff done. Maybe you meet every Saturday morning at a bagel shop that has great wi-fi. Maybe you camp out at the library after school on Tuesdays. Maybe you do pizza nights on Thursdays. Come up with a plan and stick with it.
So, if you’re beginning your applications, may the force be with you. Remember, don’t go it alone! Take a friend with you.
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Dunce Labs is an explorative space where students launch their futures — to college and beyond. To find out more about what we’re doing, click here.