Who NOT to Listen to During the College Application Process
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Probably the most important piece of advice for students navigating through college admissions is to wear imaginary ear buds. It is advised for students to avoid listening too much to their parents, relatives, friends, and school teachers when it comes to the application process. This is because their suggestions and sources are often anecdotal, erroneous and even doubtful, given personal agendas.

More often than not, parents talk about fictional or incorrect information heard from other parents or friends. When talking about where to apply for college, what to do, and when to proceed with the application, parents have a chance of getting it wrong as they sometimes can get “advice” from well-meaning but ill-informed people. At other times, they share experiences that are unique to another individual, and not necessarily applicable to their child.

Indeed, while some relatives, friends, and teachers may be earnest, some of their advice may not necessarily ring true. This is where professional college admissions advisors come into play; they have studied and trained to make sure students know what to do. Rule of thumb is students and parents alike should never fully rely on generally subjective information from non-professionals. It makes little sense to be swayed by personal advice when students have secured professional help and guidance.

Of course, this holds true for the writing and editing of college application essays. In order to be consistent and clear, these university essays should only be edited by one editor – usually the college counselor the family has chosen. A definite way to break the power and integrity of an essay is to have many people – parents, other relatives, friends, teachers and mentors – read through and give unguided criticism about the paper; students will feel uncertain of their work and instead fall trap to the voices of other people with personal agendas. In addition, teachers and mentors may be skilled at academic writing and copy-editing, but they won’t exactly know how to look through an admission essay. A great college essay requires a compelling story designed to stir up the reader’s emotions. The college essay is a great chance for students to really express themselves and communicate their personality through paper; of course, that opportunity will be lost if the essay were edited in a way that doesn’t reflect the writer’s personality and drive. Again, the student’s family should rely on the expertise of the admissions professional they have hired to guide the child. As the saying goes, too many cooks will spoil a dish; it’s not a cliché for nothing.

The college application process can be overwhelming for both the student and the parents, especially if the latter are not so familiar with it; that being said, they shouldn’t get more unnecessary stress by listening to those who are equally confused and very subjective about the matter. They should, instead, follow the advice of their chosen college advisors to get into the universities they want.

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