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College Admissions – Keep Calm & Carry On

As the class of 2011 graduates, it is easy to see how they are all happily looking forward to college. Yet this fall many of these same seniors were filled with anxiety and stress because of the college admissions process. Looking back, what do they wish they had known about the college admissions process?

“I wish that, as a freshman, I knew that those grades count as much as they do,” said Kendall Carpenter ’11, who will go to Bowdoin College in the fall. “They count just as much as your grades sophomore, junior and senior year, since we don’t use weighted GPAs at DA.”

Future Princeton student Hallie Dewey ’11 said, “Start early. Try to get a lot done before your senior year so you can focus on choosing which schools you like best. It is a ton of work, so try to spread it out.”

Latoya Stewart ’11 agreed, and had some simple advice for everyone. “Don’t bother applying to schools you don’t like, and get things done during the summer: I wish I had done more during the summer, like my essays. I wish I knew where I was going to apply before senior year started.”

Charlotte Blais ’11, who will attend Bates College, exclaimed, “No one prepared me for this, but senior fall is even harder than junior year! You are needed often for meetings and unexpected responsibilities, so stay organized and do not over-commit yourself.”

The seniors had specific advice for juniors in terms of stress management. Dewey said, “You don’t need to freak out about it! Underclassmen think that everything is about getting into college, but it’s not! No matter what, you will end up somewhere great!”

Sidney Cech ’12, as a junior just entering the college process, added, “Be sure to take advantage of your free time freshman and sophomore year. You don’t realize how valuable it is until it’s gone! Thinking about it now, my grades could have been better, and I wish I’d gone out for The Scroll, or debate or another club. I wish I had used the time to try new things instead of just going back to my room to work.”

As a senior looking back, Dewey said, “Don’t forget to make the most of your time at DA, because it goes so fast!”

Additional reporting by Delaney Berman ’12 and Emily Ng ’14.

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