What You Must Not Do During the College Admissions Process

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You're hoping to start your first year in college next term, and you already have a short list of universities. You're also thinking of which ones are worth visiting, as it would be impractical to fly back and forth across America. Starting early is not only right, but also the wise thing to do. It doesn't guarantee success, though. Something is bound to happen wrong, which can be detected ahead.

You're not worried about your parents after reading the news about Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. They're thinking about your best interests, yet you won't make them think long and hard about your topic for an admissions essay. You want to impress the admissions tutor by discussing about the cultivation of roses in central Asia. It would cheer you up when you're thinking about writing your essay during a cold, rainy morning. Winter is around the corner, which should make you think about your tests during the weeks leading to Christmas. You would think about it later, as you want to finish reading "The Secret Commonwealth". You wish that "The Conference of the Birds", the sequel to "A Map of Days", would be published before the end of the year. Thinking about your essay topic would be trivial compared to other factors that could turn your college admission process into success or failure.

You have started early, perhaps a bit too early, which should make you not panic about your lack of chances. And there's no reason to be paranoid about certain things that are beyond your control. (It might not be a good idea to write about "Doctor Sleep".) It would be best to be aware of the signs that many college applicants overlook during this period. You would deal with tons of problems if you ignore it.

5 Signs That Say You Losing the Process

You become too obsessed about your admissions essay. Paper writing is a time-consuming affair, and obsessing about the details can affect your chances. It would be right to write about a topic that you like, if not you're passionate about. If it's the works of Ransom Riggs, you must ask your tutor. Timing won't be good enough for a reason. ("The Conference of the Birds", which would chronicle the next saga of Jake Portman and the peculiar children, will be released next January.) The same thing goes to Philip Pullman's perspective on conscience (after you read "The Secret Commonwealth"). If your tutor points out the syllabus, which contains a list of essay topics, you have no other choice but to pick one.

You're entertaining negative thoughts. You won't be able to get rid of that nagging thought (that you would fail), as you learned about other applicants deferring their entry to their first year after they decide to make the most out of their gap year. It would be tempting to look for a job, if not learn Spanish and volunteer in South America this winter. (Let's not hope that it's not inspired by your reading of Pullman's latest, where Lyra Belacqua traveled to Eastern Europe and the Middle East after Pantalaimon, her daemon, would go missing for days.) Your parents would be proud of you after you insist (and persist) on your application.

Your parents keep on asking you about campus tours. It would be better to update your parents on the progress of your application without revealing your feelings about it. Always look forward, which means that you would focus on your next university of choice (after you're done with your first or second). Traveling would require spending thousands of dollars, so you must wonder if a visit to this particular university would be worth it. You could engage in an exchange of emails with the admissions tutor. You could do an extensive research on the university as well. There are many options, which would require your resourcefulness. Don't ever think of a lame excuse (for not exploring your options). The next item is related to this one.

You must not have high expectations. You haven't been on a campus tour, but you're having high expectations about the university that you want to attend to. It could be a club that you don't fancy at all, even if there are tens that you haven't studied yet. It could be your dining preferences, which may be trivial when you must deal with essays and examinations. Your immediate goal is to get admitted, so think about the other things after you receive your letter of invitation. It also applies to multiple inquiries about the accommodations. It may be better to make a reservation or two, but a visit would be required on this one. You can do it when you're certain of getting admitted.

You don't have to follow your sibling's footsteps. Your brother (or sister) has gone to Jamaica months before the start of the term. You don't have to emulate it after you're certain that you would be notified ahead of the others. You would know if you tell your school mates, but it would be better not to share the good news. (You're aspiring for an Ivy League university.)

Always Ask Questions

You don't know all the answers, so it would be a huge mistake to assume. If you don't want to stumble early on, ask your tutor. Ask any figure who has been connected to the university for quite some time. And don't forget to ask any older student. You need guidance at this point.

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