Stressing out about College Applications? Read This Now

By: Aishwarya Sadh

Campus Sherpa Staff Writer, American University

The due dates are approaching but you still don’t know what you’re going to study or where you want to go? Even if you are set on your potential school, still keep your options open. Here are some of the questions to help narrow down your options or at least alleviate some anxieties:

A. What do you want to study?

If you know what you want to potentially major in then awesome. Check to see which one of your schools has the best program for that field or major or has the major available.

But what if I don’t know my major? It’s completely ok!! Take out a notebook. List your favorite classes in high school. List some topics that you’re interested in. These lists should give you a glimpse of potential fields or majors you would be interested in. Then look to see if your top schools have those majors available. Keep in mind that most state colleges would have array of majors.

B. Where do you want to study?

City/large school:

  • Pro: fun activities available regularly, tons of people
  • Con: too loud, too many people, lack of personal space

Small town:

  • Pro: you’ll know everyone, close knit community
  • Con: Could get boring, might not be enough people

When determining the location you just need to accept both the pros and cons. Some might not have a preference and that is perfectly ok.

C. What do you want out of your “college experience”?

  • Sports?
  • Greek Life?
  • Community?
  • Volunteerism?
  • A specific program?

Define what the college experience means for you and see which schools meets most of your desires. Also, keep in mind most schools already have a wide array of clubs.


Let’s get down to finishing these apps!


Put that phone away!! Set an alarm on your phone for a reasonable amount of time you want to send writing. Then put it in a drawer or in your bag. It might seem silly at first. But remember—out of sight = out of mind.

Make a commitment to yourself to focus on one task at a time. SO that means no netflixing while writing essays. You may think it’s not causing a problem but it takes away from your concentration causing you to work slower.

Work for 20-30 minutes at a time. AND THEN TREAT YO SELF.

Before you start working on your personal essays think about what makes you different and unique. Write down what makes you stand out. What do you bring to the university? Why you? Obviously these are difficult questions. So allow some time to ponder and genuinely think. Think about what makes your friends like you? What do you bring to a discussion? What are you interested in? What can you speak endlessly about?

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