Class of 2022 braces for the college application process

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Alan Ledezma

Shashank Sinha visits VCU’s campus on April 3, 2021. Shashank decided to attend VCU next fall.

Halle Packard , Staff Writer

College is often viewed as an important journey. For students who look to further their education in college, the application process can at times feel like a burden. 

Simply going to visit the college of one’s choice is crucial. Students who identify their preferred campus culture can be a smart first step.

“One of the things I loved about Tech is that they have a really great community, instead of being super cut-throat and competitive,” said senior Alan Ledezma, who visited Virginia Tech when he was an underclassman.

Although much student energy is required to prepare for colleges, many students remain uncertain of how to optimally present themselves in their applications.

“Colleges aren’t looking for someone who has a resume padded with different things. They are looking for a person who’s engaged in the things that interest them beyond the classroom,” said academy advisor Allison Graves. 

According to Graves, goal setting is also a very crucial step when working toward college acceptance. Specific goals, like a major or an interest in an area of study, can help provide direction and focus on what is trying to be accomplished. 

It is important to have SMART goals or goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely during the application process. 

“Having really small tasks whether it’s monthly or quarterly is very important when working toward college, rather than one overall goal,” said Graves. 

One of those tasks is the infamous college essay.

“Taking your time to write your college essays so that they truly reflect who you are is very important,” said Graves. “[Universities] want to know your voice and values.”

Students are also encouraged to consult their counselor when beginning the application process. Their experience will help navigate other tasks, such as recommendation letters or due dates.

“Communication with my counselor and teachers was super important, especially during COVID,” said Ledezma. 

Above all, Ledezma recommends that students think about whether or not they can see themselves at a particular school and if they believe that school will help them grow.  

“Focus on yourself and don’t stress about what others are doing,” said Ledezma.