Guest Blogger: Jessica Iannetta

31 Jan

Every so often I will invite someone to post a guest blog for a different perspective.  Today I ask Ms. Jessica Iannetta, a graduating senior from a local public high school, to share some of her thoughts about college admissions, a process that she has just undergone.  I think you will enjoy what she has to say.

 

I’m the oldest kid in my family, which means that I’m the guinea pig.  I do everything first, figure out where all the pitfalls are, and then watch as my younger brother benefits from my mistakes.  The college process was no different.  After months of research and countless sleepless nights, I made the decision to apply Early Decision to Syracuse University’s S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and was accepted in December.  I learned many things during this process that don’t show up in college guidebooks, so I’d like to help out all my fellow guinea pigs by passing on some things I’ve learned through my experience.

1. There is more than one best-fit college for everyone.

There’s a lot of talk about finding the best-fit college, but it implies that there is only one best-fit college for each person.  When I started looking at colleges, I knew I wanted to major in journalism.  In the end, I had two top choices.  Other than the fact that they both had excellent journalism programs, they couldn’t be more different.  Elon University is a 5,000-student school located in sunny Elon, North Carolina.  Syracuse University is a 14,000-student school located in snowy Syracuse, New York.  Although I ultimately chose Syracuse because it was closer to home and had a more rigorous program, I firmly believe I would have been happy at either school.  There is more than one perfect college for everyone.

2. Apply early action for your own peace of mind.

Although the November deadlines associated with Early Action can be stressful, it’s worth it in the end.  If you apply early action, it’s non-binding and you find out much earlier than regular decision.  This is a good thing because the college application process has a way of turning calm, rational people into raving lunatics.  As others around you get into college, the pressure will magnify and suddenly you’ll begin wondering whether you’re going to get into college at all.  Even if the school is not necessarily your top choice, applying early action will give you peace of mind that you’ll be going somewhere next year and makes senior year much less stressful.

3. “You become a college applicant the day you enter high school.”*

This applies especially to freshmen and sophomores.  Everything you do in high school will go on your future college application so don’t wait until junior year to start thinking about it.  The classes you choose and the grades you get your first two years in high school will play a big role in determining which colleges you can get into it.  Don’t take off your first two years only to regret it when it comes time to apply to your first choice college.

*In the interest of full disclosure, the above quotation comes from Peter Van Buskirk, the mastermind behind the college admissions website The Admission Game.  The website is helpful but I especially recommend going to hear one of his talks in person.

4. Don’t jump off a bridge.

The old saying “If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?” certainly applies to the college admissions process.  Just because all your friends applied to Ivy Leagues or to one certain school or have submitted 15 applications doesn’t mean you have to as well.  The application process can get very competitive and it’s important to remember that what’s right for your best friend or your sibling may not be right for you.  Resist the temptation to jump off the bridge with everyone else.

 

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2 Responses to “Guest Blogger: Jessica Iannetta”

  1. Donna February 2, 2011 at 10:43 AM #

    Smart girl, that Jess!! I will be hiring her in a year or 2 to walk us through the process…:)

  2. Jim Brown February 3, 2011 at 11:59 AM #

    Great article about college bound students. As always, I thoroughly enjoy my granddaughter’s articles.

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