Reflections on the College Application Process by Danny Marsh (c/o ’22)
Senior, Danny Marsh, took a few minutes away from his busy schedule of college applications and visits to share a reflection on this experience. Photo by student, Sam Payne.
While I have been doing my college applications, I have some tips that might be of use for rising juniors and seniors on the process as a whole.
When I began looking for someone to help be a guide for my entire journey through the college process, I talked with 2 different college counselors that I thought would be good candidates. I ended up choosing them around November of my junior year, and what I ended up doing from then to the end of my 11th grade year was to answer questions about myself and start to think about what I would want to pursue in college and beyond. I didn’t see much point in it at the time, but this was probably the most important step to keep me going through senior year without too much stress. The key that was really useful for me was the thought that the earlier you start the more time you will have. I think that this was the perfect time to start getting a counselor, any earlier and I would be paying them for nothing and any later and the work would feel like it was overwhelming. Having time to take it slow and easy made my life so much easier. So, when summer came and some of the applications started opening up, I had a pretty good idea of where I wanted to apply to.
When I started to fill out the applications and they had essay questions, I was able to have a great foundation for those questions based on the work I had done the previous year. Many of the essay questions are very similar for different colleges, and so copy and pasting the work I had already done allowed me to customize it for the different schools but not have to come up with new ideas for the writings.
The greatest tip that I learned over this new world of online college research and online tours is the college you are looking at over a screen is not always what it seems to be. I think that after touring my colleges, some of the colleges that I thought would be the dream school for me, were not what they seemed to be over the screen. The greatest way to tell if a college will be the school for you is not to trust other peoples word, but to go and see it for yourself. There are so many different things you learn from a college tour that can’t be seen over a screen. Being on the campus, exploring the halls, walking the nearby streets, exploring surrounding towns, and talking with students and faculty members on the campus tour will affect your outlook on a school in a way that an online tour just can’t. One of my top schools didn’t look like it would be a high contender from an online zoom meeting hosted by an admissions person, but sitting in a lawn chair, next to a lake, with red and orange leaves swaying in the breeze and students playing nearby sold the school for me. Also, the academics were great and social life was incredible, but actually being there, and feeling the energy. There are no words that can tell you more about a school than your own gut feeling. Just make sure you ask lots of questions, tour guides love to talk and answering what you are most interested in helps them as much as it helps you.
WSSD, is dedicated to helping their seniors achieve their college aspirations. Along the way, a mentor/counselor assigned to each student walks them through the college application process and admin staff are ever present to help with collecting and acquiring necessary supporting documents for each application. Currently, WSSD has a 94% college attendance rate and boasts an 88% college graduation rate (national average is 50%).
Since publication, seniors from this class of 2022 have accepted offers from:
- College of Charleston
- Furman University
- Loyola Marymount University
- Oregon State University, Corvallis
- University of Tampa
- Xavier University