The Student News Site of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South

The Pirate's Eye

The Student News Site of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South

The Pirate's Eye

The Student News Site of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South

The Pirate's Eye

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College advice from our seniors

We may joke around saying we have had senioritis since freshman year, but the truth is that senior year isn’t as easy as it’s thought to be. Seniors applying to college can’t truly sit back and relax until their first semester is over. Even then, the stress and pressure continues until the big day, when they find out what college they are heading to.

The college admissions process can arguably be one of the most stressful and difficult periods for many students in high school. According to a survey conducted by the Princeton Review in 2022, 74% of students had a high stress level about their applications. Just twenty years ago in 2003, that number was only 56% of students.

Given all of this, many underclassmen tend to be unprepared or unaware of the full process that awaits them in their senior year. Seniors are here to give underclassmen answers.

“What have you done to stick out to colleges?” – Shaurya Jindal (‘27)

“I didn’t do a crazy amount but just collected leadership roles in and outside of school. For ex-
ample, I took my knowledge with dance for the myriad of years that I’ve done it and applied it to school. I stuck with SAASA for all four years, and slowly built up to becoming president in my senior year, showing consistency and my passion for dancing. But also having variety is important, especially because I want to go into a medical career. I didn’t want to have such a cut, rigid application that’s mainly medical focus, but I also want to show that I have other interests as well.” -Jaanvi Kumar (‘24)

“How do you know which college is right for you?”- Aditya Shivpuriya (‘25)

“The one thing I’d say is to not focus on just the acceptance rate and how good the school is ranked, because that does not tell you everything there is to a school. There are a lot of aspects that you can look for but it’s all about what you prefer. There’s not necessarily a college that will be right for you. I intentionally tried to avoid picking a dream school because that would make the process of receiving acceptances and rejections easier. So just keep your mind open. At any school, you can have a good time if you go with the right mindset. Just weigh your options, see which ones you prefer and there really are no wrong choices at the end of the day.” -Rohan Jois (‘24)

“What sort of essays did colleges make you write about and how important is it?” – Shaurya Jindal (‘27)

“They like to ask why you’re specifically interested in that college. They also want to hear about things that you’re passionate about, things that you enjoy. I think the goal of these essays isn’t necessarily to sell you to the college because at that point, your stats would let them know if you’re qualified. But with the essay, it lets them know what vibe you would bring to the campus. If you fit with a college, then ideally you’d get accepted and if you don’t, maybe that college wasn’t right for you. But I think the most important thing is to just be honest and focus on describing who you are. Treat yourself as more than just a product.” -Rohan Jois (‘24)

“Which aspect of the application process holds the most weight?” -Joydeep Basu (‘26)

“I think it is your writing supplements, because whatever you write on your essays might matter more than the test scores, especially since after COVID, we’ve gone test optional. Sometimes it depends on the college, but any writing supplements that they ask you to fill out are the places that colleges will get to know you the most.” -Jaanvi Kumar (‘24)

“What would you have done differently in the process, if you could?” – Anjali Goswami (‘25)

“I think I should have applied to more schools because it opens up many more opportunities and options for education. I automatically ruled out some colleges from my list because I assumed they would require better extracurriculars or stronger stats, but I don’t think I should have been so quick to assume. Now, I regret it because I can’t apply anymore. I don’t think it hurts to just try and see where you get it because you never know what admissions are necessarily looking for.” -Kavya Katkuri (‘24)

At the end of the day, there is no perfect college application. But the advice from our seniors as they leave is to have the right mindset and to keep going to keep going towards where you want to go.

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