Monday, December 23, 2019

Applying to University?: This Post Has Got You Covered


Applying to University?:
This Post Has Got You Covered

Bhavya Tandon

As a high school senior, I’ve spent the past few months applying to universities. Along the way, I’ve picked up a couple of tips and tricks that I feel might be useful for students who find themselves in a similar situation in the near future. Here are a couple of generalized ones that might come in handy for you:

1. Do your research. It’s extremely important to build a thorough base of information before making any sort of decision. You can find excellent information regarding programs and universities on my blueprint and ontariouniversitiesinfo.ca. 

2. Don’t lose sight of what’s important. There comes a point in the year when all of a sudden everyone seems to be talking about university applications all of the time. It’s on everyone’s lips every chance they get. Your friends and peers may be applying to certain schools and— while it’s important to ask around as a form of collecting information— you should do your best to avoid being influenced by everyone else’s pathways. Yours will be different, naturally. 

3. Find the program that’s the best fit for you. After doing some research, it’s important to narrow it down by determining what your most sensible and realistic options are. You might have dozens of programs you’re interested in but it won’t make sense to apply to each and every one. Especially since applying is a costly and time-consuming process. This is when you’ll want to explore program descriptions as posted on the universities’ websites themselves. Check out the admissions requirements to see if your grades match up with them. It’s also beneficial to see what specific courses you’d be taking as part of the program for all four years. This will help you determine whether you’d actually enjoy your classes. 

4. Analyze your finances. What’s the tuition like? Would you be living on residence or renting an apartment? Would you be paying out-of-province tuition? How are you planning on covering all of these expenses? These are all important questions to ask yourself throughout the process of applying. Be realistic. 

5. Once you start applying, make sure you keep track of all the different logins and IDs you’ve created and/or been given. Keeping all of this information in one place will save you a lot of time and needless panic as you frantically scroll through your inbox trying to find them. 

6. Remember to keep track of the stages of completion you’re at with respect to all of your applications. Some universities release supplementary applications later than others and have varied submission deadlines, as well so you need to ensure you stay on your toes. 

7. Keep a record of the responses you’ve written as answers to supplementary applications’ questions. This will allow you to make good use of well-structured responses and save time. All you’ll need to do is tailor them a little to the particular question at hand rather than start anew with every application. 

8. Above all, remain patient as you wait for your acceptance(s) to come in. You can only do so much and should try to sit back and relax once you’ve completed your supplementary applications. Work as hard as you can all year to earn the required grades. Strike and maintain a balance between academia and extracurriculars, as well. Good luck!