There are certain things to avoid in college admissions. You bet there are. There’s a post on “The Huffington Post” by Krystie Yandoli entitled “College Application Advice: 5 Things High School Seniors Should Avoid, Under All Circumstances.” We at Ivy Coach happen to agree with all five points. So what’s the first point? “Pretending to be someone you’re not.” Absolutely true. As the great Theodor Geisel (you may know him better as Dr. Seuss) once said, “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” How wonderful of a quote is that? Don’t fake a persona for your college applications. College admissions counselors will see right through that. What do you take them for? They weren’t born yesterday.
The second point is “not being aware of your social media footprint.” True again. Clean up your Facebook photos. Delete Twitter posts that can be interpreted as offensive. These are not things you want on the Internet as you go through the college admissions process or at any point thereafter. It’s just a bad idea. Do you really want your future employer seeing you chug beers upside down? We didn’t think so. The third point is “forgetting to proofread.” Right on. Too many college applicants submit college applications filled with typos. There should be no typos on your applications! You shouldn’t be the only one doing the proofing. Have your English teacher look it over if you haven’t invested in a private college counselor. Ask your guidance counselor. No typos!
The fourth point is “bombarding admissions staff with emails and phone calls.” Don’t do that! You should only update an admissions office when you have something noteworthy to report, though we do highly recommend that you establish contact with your regional admissions officer to develop a connection. You want this person going to bat for you. It’s perfectly ok to ask a couple of great questions (make sure they’re great and that the answers aren’t easily accessible on the admissions website) but know when to draw the line. And the fifth point is: “Leaving your personal statement for the last minute.” Contrary to what was recommended by someone in the college admissions profession recently, college essays should always be written over the summer. They should not be saved for during the school year. It’s just a bad idea!