We love this thread on College Confidential started by Sidthekidc87. Now just starting his freshman year at Boston University, Sidthekid, passes on lots of great information. An absolute must read for those you just starting your senior year of high school. The thread is honest, and full of great tips, shortcuts, regrets, and just, well… great advice. Here’s an excerpt:
Just about a year ago I was in the position most of you readers are now. However, in about 3 hours I will be leaving for my first semester at Boston University.
I remember the countless hours spent on here, worrying about my chances, posting my stats, etc, etc.
And now that the college admissions experience is officially over, I thought I would make a helpful thread for Juniors and Seniors starting the process.
In this thread I will discuss my personal experiences, and tips/secrets to the process that will hopefully make your life easier. I will go in chronological order! Woohoo!
Normally, the first part of the college admissions process is taking the SAT. In essence, you can not really start compiling a list of schools that you may like to attend until you take the SAT, because reality is your SAT score will affect which schools are worth your time applying to.
First and foremost, this test CAN BE mastered! I am in no sense of the word a genius. My problem solving skills are average at best, and I was never a great test taker. However, with proper preparation the SAT can be one of the most formulaic and predictable tests you will ever take. To do well it is IMPERATIVE that you practice. I only recommend two forms of studying: vocab and practice tests. Vocab for the critical reading section, and practice tests to understand the structure of the test. I took about 20 practice tests. By the end of the doing them, I MASTERED the structure, and could basically do most of the problems without reading the full question. I was able to finish the writing section, which is the most formulaic part of the sat, in about half the time given.
Do not fear the SAT, but do not take it lightly. It is important, but not make or break to your college admissions. With proper practice, you can succeed!
Narrowing down your choices
Far too often do I see on this site people having HUMONGOUS lists of college choices. Ranging from MIT to Harvard to Princeton. College is about what fits you. I can tell you right now that going to a college purely because of the name will not benefit you. Once you start visiting colleges, and realizing that you will be living on the campus for 4 years minimum, you will realize there are many other things to consider than the school’s prestige.
- Define whether you want a city or suburban campus. My mother always put it, do you want a “green” campus or a “streety” campus.
- Find schools that offer your major. Do NOT go to a school if it does not have your major, even if it has the “name brand” value.
- Once you decided on a campus type, and found a list of schools that offer your interested major, compare your stats to the required stats. Does your SAT sit within the realm of what they want? What about your GPA? Read the schools mission statement. Do you agree with it???
Personal experience: I applied to 4 schools. I knew I wanted a city. Boston University, Northeastern, University of Chicago, and Upenn (Wharton). To most of your surprise, most likely, I got into all four. Yes, I turned down UChicago and Wharton for Boston University.
READ MORE: Click belowthe original article from College Confidential, written by Sidthekidc89