I've never understood why students get so nervous about applying to college. I'm not talking about searching for a college- I'm talking about filling out the actual form. Students learn about all kinds of colleges, work hard to get good grades, do great things outside the classroom, take the right tests-everything your counselor has talked to you about. Then, it's show time, time to fill out the application and have all that work pay off.
And they freeze. They just can't fill out the form.
I know there's a lot riding on a college application, so students worry that one small mistake on the application could be seen as a deal breaker. But that's pretty hard to do with most college applications, and when it does occur, those mistakes can be pretty easy to fix.
Don't believe me? OK—try this. Pull up the online application for your local community college. If you don't have one, try looking up Montcalm Community College's online application-it's pretty easy to find.
Got an application on your computer now? Great. Fill it out, then come back here. I'll wait.
It's likely been about 20 minutes, and you've applied to college. Congratulations! Chances are, you didn't have to look anything up, you knew all the answers right away, and you didn't need to contact anyone for help. Not such a mystery after all, is it?
I know, I know. You're pretty sure not all college applications are this easy to complete-in fact, you know the application for the school you love wants essays, maybe even letters of recommendation from a teacher or two. Much more complicated.
Really? Tell me-have you ever written an essay before? A little bit of work, sure, but once you know the topic, is it really hard to do?
And teacher letters? You know teachers, right? And some of them know you? Well, they know how to write, too, so it's really just a question of asking them on time.
This is sounding a little more doable, isn't it?
It turns out that applying to college is kind of like getting ready for prom, or some other school dance. There are a few things you have to do to get ready, and some take more time than others. But once you know what needs to be done, it's more about making the time to do them than anything else.
Still doubt me? Go back to the application you just submitted. What was the first question?
Trust me, you can do this. In fact, you just did.