College Mania: WriteGirl’s College Workshop

Yamuna H.

On September 9th, a handful of mentees gathered in the WriteGirl office to work on their college applications. They were advised on several components of the college admissions process, including SAT prep, college selection, and essay writing. Senior mentee Laura L. has this advice to offer to those who could not attend the workshop:

College applications are just around the corner! If there is anything I learned at the latest WriteGirl workshop is this: The petty and stressful years of procrastination have to come to an end. Missing a deadline due to the procrastination monster is NOT worth it!

SO GOODBYE HORRID GREEN AND EVIL MONSTER! GOODBYE!! You will no longer leave me in desperation to complete and turn something in last minute, and when that fails, turning in late assignments for half credit. After all, there is no half credit for college applications. I ask that you all do the same and banish the monster that has been lingering over your shoulders for the last 17 years!

Allison told us that, though the official CSU application due date is November 30th, we should all turn our applications by NOVEMBER FIRST. Let me repeat that, November 1st! And our UC applications should be in by November 15th at the latest. Also, be prepared to send Allison (WriteGirl’s associate director, who guides mentees through their application process) a list of the schools you’re applying to and explain why you’re applying to each. If you’re using fee waivers for your applications, you don’t want to pick random schools. What if the one you don’t like is the one you get into? And if you don’t get waivers, why pay for school applications if you’re not really interested?

One more thing: SATs and ACTs! Be sure to be done with the test taking by the end of November. Most colleges don’t take scores past November. Here’s a few tips for taking the SAT:

  1. Go in for the essay with a variety of ideas to write about in your head. Don’t assume you’ll have to write an essay about Shakespeare, because you never know if the essay will be about a reality TV show or something else. Draw materials from all parts of your life.
  2. Take snacks and water for breaks. You will need brain food!
  3. Obvious one now: Don’t spend too much time on a question you don’t know. Skip it and come back to it later. You lose points for incorrectly answered questions, so it might be better to leave a question blank if you are unsure.
  4. Take practice tests, if you get the opportunity. The more familiar you are with the test the better you’ll do.

Going to these college workshops are always really helpful especially for calming my nerves. If you can come to the next one please do. Good luck to all you seniors! Here are some other pieces of advice from mentees and volunteers who attended:

  • Do your research and make sure all the schools you apply to offer plenty of financial aid.
  • Spend some time on a college’s website before applying.
  • Use to start narrowing down your college choices.
  • WriteGirl can help you get through the application process if you reach out to us!

We will be having another college workshop soon — we’ll be sure to keep you updated via email.