In this essay I would like to recount the difficulties and stresses that a college applicant encounters on his/her path. Applying to college is a process which entails much deliberation and effort on one’s part. This procedure is extended in time and requires that multiple life-changing decisions are made during each step of the process. For instance, choosing the right university, study program and curriculum can bring one several steps closer to his/her goals and dream career. Yet, despite the anticipation of navigating one’s way down this path, the actual process of applying to college is often daunting, causing anxiety and nervousness among candidates.
Herein, I would like to provide a more thorough overview of the college application process and describe the potential negative effects of each of these stages on the applicant’s sense of wellbeing.

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The first and foremost step is to complete a list of colleges where one wishes to study. This list can be organized by how expensive the tuition is, university and program ranking, how close the school is to home, and other important factors.

Usually, an applicant will aim at numerous colleges to make sure that at least several of them come back with a positive answer. At the same time, the application process for each university is individual and unique. Every application form requires significant preparation on part of the applicant. Certificates, school reports, cover letters, application essays, test results, and much more is expected of the candidate.

Information concerning each university’s application process can be collected through the Undergraduate/Graduate Admissions department or via printed and online materials. Once the candidate has organized all of the information necessary for applying and has good resources to turn to if he/she gets stuck, choices should be narrowed down. Picking a list of top three to top five colleges is a good enough strategy, as it allows for variety but does not overwhelm the student with too many choices.

What is important to note, not only can it be difficult to keep information organized when applying to multiple schools, there is always a possibility of rejection, and this causes even greater anxiety levels among candidates. While being accepted to several schools might be the much desired outcome, having to choose among a number of options can be unsettling and stressful. Especially if the candidate is accepted to several of the universities which he/she finds appealing.

Once a choice is made, it’s time to apply for financial aid, figure out housing, and make sure the college application process is as problem-free as possible. For those students who are looking for financial aid, it is also important to focus their efforts on scholarship applications and invest much time in this process in order to convince the scholarship committee that he/she is a worthy candidate.

Further, I would like to discuss the financial side of the application process which can add up to significant sums. It is important to remember that almost every college requires an application fee, and fees can go up to $90 for the country’s most famous universities. After the application fee, there are plenty of other fees that can creep up, so utilizing caution and good judgement is essential.

At the end of the day, being accepted to college is where it all starts: the hard work, the sleepless nights, the school workloads. It is also worth noting that a student might be pushed into circumstances where he/she might have to completely cover living expenses. This means not only studying, but also working part-time or even night shifts.

It is true that the college application process is difficult to master. However, it is only step one in the process of starting the long and difficult journey of adult life; this is a path often filled with stress and anxiety, but also memorable moments and personal victories.