The official college madness study guide

Nov. 15, 2008, midnight | By Anika Manzoor | 12 years, 2 months ago

Ten sure-fire ways to cause major freakouts during college apps

As we head into the winter, a huge frenzy known as the college application process threatens the sanity of our seniors and forces 11th grade teachers, school counselors and college admissions personnel to wonder why in the world they have chosen such an unrewarding career path. As such, efforts in high schools and colleges are continuously being made and perfected to help seniors stay on top of things, trying to make their lives – and the lives of everyone else involved – as smooth as possible.

However, it is a well-known fact that teenagers are hopeless procrastinators. In fact, a recent study by the College Bored reports that a whopping 99.9 percent of high school students of all races, genders and levels of social awkwardness engage in procrastination and that over 60 percent are seniors, their behavior influenced heavily by the senioritis bug (readers should note that these results have been made up by a professional procrastinator). Another study by Kantplan, Inc. claims that efforts to reduce senior stress are futile, as five percent of teens, educators and counselors claim that their stress has been relieved with the creation of the Common Application, personalized applications and other such devices.

Here at Silver Chips Online's Institute for Senior College Opportunities and Other, um, Learnings (SCOISCOOL), we understand the mindset of today's teens and are equipped with the most qualified individuals in the field to help high school seniors with such a crucial time in their lives. In our expert opinion, we believe efforts dedicated to fighting procrastination and laziness are useless, so we're providing 10 fail-safe ways to encourage procrastination and ill-conceived decisions to make you absolutely miserable during the college application experience. Here's what not to do:

1. Taking your SATs at the last minute

A common philosophy associated with the SAT exams is, "The earlier, the better." Completely disregard this suggestion. October through January of your senior year is the ideal time to take SAT Reasoning/SAT Subject tests. January is the best time, because not only are you dealing with the rigors of the application process and studying for the SATs, but you are also guaranteed killer headaches as you study for your midterm exams as well.

2. Consistently acting like a Boisterous and Unintelligent Teacher Tormentor (BUTT)

Starting with your junior year, make sure to exert all your ability into behaving like a BUTT toward all your teachers. Why? Well, you would be asking your junior-year teachers for college recommendations, yes? Studies have shown a direct correlation between display of BUTT-like qualities (i.e. making inappropriate sounds during lessons, failure to complete homework) and student/instructor reluctance in discussing letters of recommendation. Who knows, maybe all your teachers will decline to write recommendations for you. But in order to achieve that, you must be one true BUTT.

3. Taking a super-easy workload

A lot of seniors-to-be believe that they can take two music classes and three art classes and get away with it, as they have already taken their important and tough classes during junior year. However, colleges look for a rigorous course load and good grades as proof that their potential students are diligent workers and unsusceptible to the lure of laziness. So, we at SCOISCOOL urge you all to take whatever the heck you want. As we have shown previously, lethargy is absolutely unbeatable, so why even try? Just remember, four absences for fifth and eighth period classes and two absences for every other class. Choose wisely.

4. Not filling out your Trailblazer packet

The Trailblazer packet provides vital information for your counselors and is necessary for completing your transcript requests. If you don't turn them in by a specific deadline (sometime around June during your junior year), your counselor will...(dramatic pause) absolutely nothing to you. So, blow off the Trailblazer until it really starts threatening your application process.

5. Applying to 20 colleges

Nothing makes you feel as if your life is falling apart like applying to more schools than you have fingers. You may argue that the Common Application, fee waivers for online application and other college admission goodies make applying to 20 colleges not as bad as it seems. Here's what our experts say: don't fall for these cheap tricks. The best way to overwhelm yourself is to do everything the old-fashioned way: mail in all your applications, write 20 different essays and set up 20 different interviews. Also, make sure all the colleges have the same deadline. You'll be looking for wigs in no time!

6. Asking for recommendations two weeks prior to the deadline

Your teacher(s) will hate you forever for this. And there's nothing better than strong, death-wishing hatred to add to the large number of problems you already have on your plate.

7. Requesting a transcript two weeks prior to the deadline

Why wait just two weeks? Go down to the registrar and demand overnight shipping!

8. Starting all your essays two weeks prior to the deadline

Assuming you will follow step five, successfully completing 20 essays in two weeks is so unlikely that it's darn-near impossible. However, let's break it down: at this time, all intentions of writing well-developed essays are quickly tossed out the window. An ideal essay would be written in about five hours, edits included, so you should spend about one hour on your essays. That means you would spend about 10 hours a week to ensure that your application has a chance of getting postmarked by the deadline. In conjunction with school and the plain craziness that ensues as deadlines are fast approaching, it would be a miracle if you weren't driven mad.

9. Mixing up your applications and envelopes

Imagine the look on the Harvard admissions counselor's face to see that your application was really meant for Yale. Uh-oh...

10. Constantly reminding yourself that you have plenty of time

Ignorance is bliss. Try not to look at any calendars for as long as necessary. As a matter of fact, avoid looking at clocks. As far as you should be concerned, you're on island time now and second semester has already arrived. If you diligently follow the nine previous steps, this last one will surely leave you more screwed than a recently tightened metal fastener.

Disclaimer: Any information labeled as "fact" is entirely fabricated and purely for entertainment purposes. Silver Chips Online does not endorse any of these ideas. Silver Chips Online is not liable for any dimwit who followed the advice outlined in this story and suffered from figurative (perhaps even literal) head explosions as a result.

Anika Manzoor. Although she may look like a cute and innocent freshman, Anika is actually a SENIOR(!!), who kicks butts and takes names on a daily basis. But otherwise she's very friendly with a sunny disposition and a constant snarl - er smile on her face =D … More »

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