College Applications are (Genuinely) Hard



The 2022-2023 college application season has commenced.

Azzurra Degliuomini, Editor

It’s that time of the year for Seniors all around the country; the Common App college applications opened up on August 1, and it has been a stressful time for everyone that’s applying for admission to a university for the following school year.

I’ve personally never felt the type of stress that I’ve experienced these last two and a half months before, and I’m here to share my experience in hopes to alleviate some of your worries or fears about college applications.

I started applying to colleges in August since I knew that leaving something as serious as college applications last minute would be regrettable in the end. I applied to all the colleges through Common App, which in my opinion, is the easiest route you can take when it comes to applying for college. Not every school will be on it, but most of the ones that you’ve heard of growing up will be.

Some schools were much easier to apply to than others. For example, when I applied to schools like UNF and USF, it only took me about fifteen minutes at the most to fill out all the information required. This is because they didn’t ask a lot of specific questions, and most of them were just surrounding the major and the education you want to pursue at the university.

Comparing those schools to schools like UF, FSU, and UM, on the other hand, you would see the difference in application.

These schools took much more effort to apply to. Some had required questions that you couldn’t skip if you wanted to apply, and they asked for more in-depth information compared to other schools.

If you’re going to college for an Arts program or even choosing to apply to certain Academies or Honors programs that the university offers, it will ask for additional questions, as well.

This was something that I knew was going to happen; I applied to a few of the Honors programs for schools that I knew I would consider committing to if I was admitted, and I knew I would have to do extra work applying to the university compared to someone who was choosing to just be admitted as a regular student.

But, this wasn’t the part that threw me off when applying.

It took me around two months to finally finish all ten applications to the colleges that I was choosing to apply to, and I thought that would have been it. I just assumed that I would submit the application and wait for these colleges to send me the login information I needed to be able to check my portal and application status.

I had no idea that when I would log in to my accounts, I would discover that my application was still not technically complete.

When you receive your login information for your admissions account, there you will be provided with a checklist of items that you may still need to send to the university in order for them to consider your application for admission. Some of the items on the checklist will come directly from the Common App, like the personal essay or required questions you had to fill out, so the only thing you would have to do then is wait for the university to receive this information.

For some other stuff, on the other hand, you had to submit yourself

For example, most, if not all schools require the SSAR, which stands for the Self-Reported Student Academic Record. The SSAR is your unofficial transcript of all the classes you’ve taken in high school or any high school classes you may have taken in middle school. After you create your SSAR account and fill it out, you have to make sure you link your SSAR account to all of your application portals.

Some schools like UF and FSU require you to show proof of residency, which allows them to consider you as an in-state student if you live in the state of Florida instead of treating you like an out-of-state student, which would require you to pay more tuition.

If you applied to a certain Arts program for some university, they may also require you to submit a portfolio so they can take that into consideration.

When I started my journey of applying to college, I had no idea what it would entail for me.

Obviously, I knew that applying to college was not going to be easy; I knew the stress that it would bring on, ensuring that I fill out every little thing correctly so I don’t mess up my chances for admission. But nobody told me that once you submit your application, you’re still not finished.

I believed that once you finished your Common App application, that was it. The university would send you your information and all you had to do was keep up with the application and make sure to pay attention to any potential information the university sends you. I had no idea that there was an entirely separate process that you had to go through to make sure your application is fully complete.

It may be naivete, or maybe simply because I never had anyone in my family to go through the application process, so I had no point of reference and anyone to help me do this at home, but it took me by surprise.

The stress that I felt these past few months is incomparable to anything I’ve ever felt. I’m happy to say that I’m finished doing everything I need to do when it comes to college applications and preparing for the next step in my life, but this was an experience I will never forget.

Even though the stress and the anxiety were next to unbearable at times, it’s not something I would trade for anything.