To The Esteemed Applicants

Senior shares advice to the class of 2023


Mena Walker, Staff Writer

During the college application process, many students are looking for guidance to help them plan and apply to colleges. Before heading off to Rice University in Houston, Texas, senior Jocelyn Wang gives advice on how to handle applying. 

“Start early and don’t wait — start, at the latest, summer after junior year,” Wang said. “If you start during senior year, you’re going to be in classes and you’re going to be really stressed and rushed.”

Applying to college provides an approach to life-defining encounters you’re unlikely to obtain anywhere else. 

 “Try to keep in mind what fits best for you — don’t just blindly apply to colleges based on prestige or because that’s where your friends are going,” she said. “Make sure you’re going to enjoy your next four years, get something out of it and be able to thrive.” 

Having extracurricular activities and outstanding essays is a great way to be distinguished from other applicants, followed by test scores, GPA and high school curriculum for the colleges that require them. 

“You can stand out most in your essays, especially since recently, most high schoolers experienced Covid during their high school careers,” Wang said. “One way to stand out would be to not write about what everyone else is writing about, which is probably how Covid impacted them. You can really show your voice and your unique personality through your essays.” 

By using strategies that focus on experiences and qualities affords an opportunity to share something different about yourself and from the rest of the application. 

“I started off by thinking about the qualities I wanted to convey through my essays — what do I want the admissions officer to learn about me?” Wang said. “From there, I brainstorm certain topics. If I wanted them to know that I was a leader, I came up with an essay idea that would center around my leadership or if I wanted them to know that I was hardworking, I focused my essay around that.”

When applying to college, Wang shares how applications can help you learn about yourself, others and the world. 

“I learned the support of my family has been a key factor throughout my life but more so in the college admission process,” she said. “I realized there were more people than I originally thought who were willing to offer guidance, something I am incredibly fortunate to have and how privileged I was to have these resources available to me to utilize when there are many who do not.”