Taking the Stress out of the College Application Process

Amanda Phew!

Let me tell you how stressed I was when I applied to college.  I had never spent so much time writing, editing, rewriting, having others read, and writing some more.  Those essays nearly caused me to have a breakdown.  I’m sure none of this is news to you.  You’ve all been experiencing the same thing over the last few weeks.  But the best part is that it’s over!  You’re done!

But wait!  What if I don’t get in?  What if I didn’t say everything I should have?  What if the waiting makes me have an even bigger breakdown?!  Take a deep breath.  Not a big deal.  Take Patrick’s advice and calmly look over the application.  If there’s anything you left out then send it along.  If you’ve said everything you wanted to then you need to remember that you’ve done your best and it’s out of your hands.  Relax, stop the stressing.  Push those applications far from your mind and just enjoy your last semester of high school.  Do your homework, hang out with your friends, forget that college exists.  Really, it will help you out.  Trust the girl who panicked endlessly.  In April when the letters start arriving it will be a nice surprise and not a burden that’s been looming over you.  Then you’ll have a fun decision to make!

And then, in another few years, the process will begin over again for graduate school 🙂

Amanda Juriansz
Assistant Director of Community Outreach

What if my guidance counselor doesn’t know me?

AmandaWhile in New Jersey last week a common question that kept coming up is, “What if my guidance counselor doesn’t know me very well?”

Holy Cross asks for two letters of recommendation; one from a teacher of your choice and one from a guidance counselor.

So what if you guidance counselor doesn’t know you very well?  Don’t stress!  Make an appointment with your counselor to sit down and talk about you: your classes, interests, what you want out of college, etc.  Tell them about you so that they will have something to write about.  All you need is a half hour.  No big deal!  You may want to ask him/her to write you the recommendation in person anyway so if you set up a meeting you can get both tasks done at the same time!

If you’re still worried about the counselor recommendation, get another recommendation from someone else.  Two recommendations does not mean you are allowed to send only two.  If you have a coach, employer, volunteer supervisor, mentor, etc. have him/her write a recommendation for you as well.  Anyone who has another point of view on your abilities or personality may write you a recommendation (parents don’t count, you know they’re biased).

Sending in 5-6 recommendations is OK.  Sending in 10-12 maybe not.  As long as each additional recommendation tells the Admissions staff something new and different about you it is acceptable.  Send it in!

Amanda Juriansz
Assistant Director of Community Outreach