For upcoming high school seniors, it is the beginning of the end. But it also the start of a new chapter: university. To begin embarking, one must battle the application process, something that is exciting for some and dreary for others. Either way, here are my tips for creating a strong university application.
Remember that applications are an addition to your academic work. With so much going on, it might be helpful to stay organized. Make a checklist of what you need to do; this way you know what you have completed and what you still need to do. Set deadlines for when you want things completed as well, including a strict deadline on when submitting your application.
Do not submit your application the night before the deadline, especially when doing so via online. This will be the busiest time for the school’s server as there are a countless number of other students trying to hand in their applications last minute as well. This can cause their server to crash, thus the possibility of your application not going through presents itself. Try handing in your application a week or two early, disseminating any possibility that your application will not be received. Also, this way, if anything goes wrong with your application, or you realize you forgot to attach a file, you still have time to fix it.
Most applications, regardless of where you are applying to, require a teacher recommendation letter. Do not pick the most popular teacher. Instead, choose a teacher that knows you best as a student. Furthermore, you must remember you are not the only student in your school and that other students might ask the same teacher for their recommendations as well. In this case, ask earlier, before the rush begins. This way, your recommendation will be well thought out and is an accurate representation of you as a student.
In regards to your personal essay, write a story that tells something about you and as silly as this sounds, ensure the story is about you. Choose something you’re passionate about and that you’re comfortable sharing. This is your once chance in telling the university why you should be admitted. At the same time, it should be well executed with proper grammar and syntax. Get someone to proof read it and I suggest three people. Someone who knows you well and someone who doesn’t know you very well. The third proofreader should be a teacher, who has experience with personal statements and can give you useful pointers.
Applications, whether you like it or not, is the start of your transition from young adolescent to adulthood. It does not have to be a hard process as long as you keep yourself organized and consistent. Show that you are passionate about the school and your field of interest – and you’ll differ from the rest of the applications. Exhibit your unique attributes and prove to them that this is the school for you.
Seniors, good luck!
For more tips and information about applying to university abroad in the US and the UK, click here
Jodie is beijingkids’ student correspondent and is our eyes and ears on the ground. A junior student at Western Academy of Beijing, Jodie is also a contributor to the student-run magazine Unit-E. Check back for more of her blogs about student life.