The one thing I always feared as an underclassman was the dreaded college application process. To start with, I was terrible at making decisions. If I could barely decide my meal at a restaurant, how would I be able to make one of the most important decisions of my entire life? I also had no idea how I would be able to balance all of the college research, visits and application process with the rest of my schedule and school work load. Now, as a high school senior, I can say the college application process and decision making are not nearly as difficult as I had always imagined. Trinity definitely made the college search and application process easier for me.
As a Sophomore, our Guidance Department helped me use the program Naviance to create a list of schools that I would be comfortable with. This all depended on my preference of student population, location and even the offered list of majors. From there, I utilized the frequent visits from college admissions officers to our school. These visits were significant to my search process because I had my questions personally answered. My counselor constantly kept me updated on college visits with schools I might be interested in. While this helped me narrow down my college choice, meeting with college admissions officers was also crucial in demonstrating my interest to the school. The college fairs after school in our gymnasium were very beneficial to me as well. These are opportunities to explore various schools, especially some that may not have been on my radar, meet some of the admissions team, and even get to know some Trinity Catholic alumni who are trying to recruit for their college or university.
I’m very thankful my counselor was very efficient in ensuring I was making progress in the early stages of my high school career as well. I was very prepared by Junior year with a developed list of colleges to narrow down my decision; this made life so much easier and less stressful in the long term. My counselor was also always there to provide tips for college interviews and even hold mock-interviews to prepare me for the two real interviews I would later have. I had an advantage at Trinity because my counselors motivated and guided me to begin my college decision process early.
When it comes to college applications, the support at Trinity is outstanding. Some colleges offer additional essays, aside from the standard one, and even special essays for scholarships. This means that, come Junior year, you will have to be prepared to write multiple college essays. Luckily for me, there are a surplus of staff at Trinity willing to look at multiple college essays. By having my guidance counselor review my essay, it would be critiqued from an admissions standpoint. My counselor knew what the college admissions were looking for in these essays and helped keep the essay centralized while still being informative and personal. Additionally, the help my English teachers provided has been tremendous. Before or after school, I used the opportunity to review my college essay with my English teacher line by line. This ensured that my essay would have perfect structure and organization, fluent sentences and no grammatical errors. Not many schools have the time, ability and resources to provide that much help for every single one of their students.
The guidance counselors at Trinity were always reliable and open to my questions. My best advice for Underclassmen or even those thinking about Trinity would be to start the college search process early. Utilize the summers to visit a handful of colleges you might be interested in. It notifies the colleges that you have interest in their school and have taken an early initiative in the search process. A last minute decision can have you worried that you may have made the wrong choice in schools. Because you started early, you have time to put more thought and research into schools than others. It makes it easier for you to choose your #1 school, and most importantly, feel confident that the school is best for you.
Alec Jania '17