It is that time of the year again. Students who are finishing up their last year of high school are trying to figure out what they want to do after they graduate. It is a stressful time, and understandably so! There’s a lot to think about. If this sounds familiar, here are some tips on applying to university:
- Do your research
Make sure to research the programs and universities you are interested in. Many universities are well-known for physics and astronomy, others are better suited for philosophy, some focus on mechanical engineering, and so on.
- Don’t just stick to universities you already know
You’ve heard your siblings speak highly of their university experience, and your friends are all trying to convince you to apply to the same schools as them. And that’s perfectly okay! Just don’t stick to only those schools. Research other universities as well and figure out the right place for you.
- Look into any scholarships the school might offer
Don’t forget to look into the scholarships offered at the universities you’re applying to. You could get scholarships based on your average, on your abilities in sports, on the program you’re applying for, on personal situations, and on so much more. Some scholarships will automatically be offered when you apply to the program, but others require separate applications, so make sure you know the difference.
- Keep yourself organized
It’s always good to keep track of deadlines in your daily planner, but don’t stop there! Keep a full list of all the deadlines for university applications, transcript submissions, letters of recommendation, interviews, scholarship applications, etc. Put the list in order of what’s coming up first, and be sure to include each task you have to complete for each item on the list! Be sure to check the list often so you don’t miss a deadline.
- Even if you don’t have all the exact requirements…
Whether you’re worried about not having a high enough average or not having the specific classes required for your program, don’t give up yet! Talk to your guidance counsellor and see what they suggest. Many universities will accept equivalent classes or will give you until the end of senior year to get your average up.
- Have someone else review your applications
If you’ve reviewed your applications a million times, you might miss small mistakes. You might also have forgotten a useful detail. Ask your parents, siblings, friends, teachers, or guidance counsellor to review your applications.
- Look into the SATs
If you’re considering universities in the United States, you will have to write the SATs. Certain programs will also require more specialized Subject Tests. Be sure you know the requirements for your program of choice, and that you register to write the SATs in your area.
- Don’t stress about indecision
Can’t decide between two programs? Don’t worry! You can study both. Whether it be through a double major, a minor, electives, or extracurriculars, there’s always a way to take what you want to learn. Also, remember that you can always change your mind later. If you want to, you can change your program within the university, or even switch to another university. There are options around transferring your credits from university to university.
- Do what’s right for you
Not interested in university? That’s okay! There are so many specialized programs, don’t be afraid to explore those options as well. You could also travel and take time for yourself, do an exchange, spend some time working to save up for higher education… Do what’s right for you.
And there you have it! If you’re overwhelmed by university applications, talk to others, get help, keep these tips in the back of your mind, and try not to stress too much. You will get through this!