Now is the time most high school juniors begin their college planning process. As the March and April tests bear down upon us, everyone at home or at school seems to be debating whether to take the ACT or the SAT (or both). Some juniors are heavily immersed in discussions with family about the college planning process and others are waiting for college night with the school counselor and/or the upcoming Latino College Fair and the NCAC College Fairs at the NYC Convention Center. It is evident however, that the journey has begun when each day more mail and marketing brochures arrive from colleges near and far.
Although resources are abundant, there are far too many for students and their families to research without becoming overwhelmed. The application process is generally linked to writing the college essay. There are many great apps and tools available to assist students in writing the essay. In our experience at the College Prep Academy, many students have found that using the Common Application saves time, stress and helps to streamline the process.
To help reduce stress for both parents and students, The Common Application’s website, www.commonapp.org, has provided answers to frequent questions and easy-to-read tips for success.
https://www.commonapp.org/how-prepare: For families unsure of where to begin, or how, the Common App provides a four-year timeline that highlights important actions needed and their deadlines that are crucial when applying for college.
https://www.commonapp.org/virtual-counselor: In the age of technology, social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter continue to reign supreme. As such, counselors have decided to utilize social media to help answer burning questions and clear up confusion via the hashtag #AskVirtualCounselor
Below are some of the articles and websites we have found helpful in essay writing.
Writing the essay can be one of the biggest challenges in the application process. Learn how these students approached their college essays.
Tips for Writing an Effective Application Essay
Trying to write a college application essay and running into writer’s block? These tips will help you take on the essay with confidence.
3 Ways to Approach Common College Essay Questions
College applications usually contain one of three types of essay questions. Find out what they are and learn the best strategies for answering them.
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Sample College Application Essay 1
Read this example of a college application essay. Analyze how it could be improved, and then compare your suggestions with ours.
Sample College Application Essay 2
Read and evaluate this sample essay. Analyze its subject, tone and structure as well as the writer’s style. Then read a point-by-point critique from an expert.
RELATED APPS for ESSAY WRITING (Source: https://collegeinfogeek.com/writing-apps-and-websites/)
Coggle – a free mind-mapping tool that can help you organize ideas.
Storyline Creator – a mapping tool that’s built around individual characters and the flow of events in a story.
Evernote – my second brain. Pretty much everything I write starts out as a note here. Here’s another article I wrote with additional Evernote tips.
Scrivener – a full-fledged application for writing a novel. This is what I finished writing 10 Steps to Earning Awesome Grades with.
Novlr – a new alternative to Scrivener. It seems like it has a nicer design, but fewer features. I found some recommendations for it on the NaNoWriMo forums.
Byword – a minimalist Markdown editor for OS X. You don’t need to know Markdown to use it… but Markdown is really easy to learn.
Twinword Writer – a tool with a built-in thesaurus that suggests alternative words when you pause in your writing.
Write or Die – an app that will punish you if you don’t keep writing. Punishments can range from annoying noises to “Kamikaze Mode”, which starts erasing your writing!
Written? Kitten! – A more positive take on the Write or Die concept; instead of punishing you, it rewards you with pictures of kittens every 100 words.
750words – the name describes it pretty well; this is a site that can help you build a daily writing habit. It’s got pretty cool stat-tracking as well.
Daily Page – a site that gives you a different writing prompt (e.g. Write about your favorite leader) every day.
Mendeley – I’m not a grad student, but I’d use this if I was. It’s a free tool that can help you manage research documents and PDFs.
editMinion – a tool that can analyze your writing and pick out weak and over-used words. It can also tell you if your sentences are too short or long.
Coffitivity – plays coffee shop noises to give you a nice working atmosphere – a good alternative to white noise generators.
Brain.fm – a web app that uses AI to generate music that’s supposed to help you increase your focus and attention. The site even has research to back up their claims. I’ve tested it a few times, and while I’m not sure if the music is truly working or just providing a placebo effect yet, I will way that it’s pretty darn good music for working.
OTHER USEFUL WEBSITES:
Source: http://tech.co/best-writing-apps-2-2014-07 includes other lists as well.
Admission Essays: An online service for students who need to write good essays and application letters. It provides dozens of free essays to use as samples for students’ work. Here, everyone can learn how to write good papers and compose great application letters.
Dictionary.com: This resource provides more useful information for students than just definitions. A thesaurus, citation formats, many links to useful tools, a style guide, and formats for punctuation, capitalization, and abbreviations – you can find it all here.
Encyclopedia.com: A perfect place for research, where students will find links to many reference books and such well-known and authoritative encyclopedias as the Columbia Encyclopedia and Britannica. More than 100 dictionaries are available here to search for different information related to college writing.
Bid4papers.com/college-paper.html: A resource for students who want to get more experience in college paper writing, learn how to do it properly, and understand all the nuances of academic writing. This resource provides high-quality services together with a very good theoretical base for young people to start writing their essays professionally.
Find Tutorials: A website where students will find a big collection of academic tutorials to help them deal with academic writing. All tutorials are reviewed on their quality, and you can easily see which of them are worth the attention.
TED: Studying in college is impossible to imagine without this online resource, which collects video talks from experts in different fields. You can watch videos on relevant topics, read articles written by professionals, and organize events.
HippoCampus: A good resource for students who are not sure they’ve understood all the material properly. Here you can find lectures and a lot of other information on psychology, algebra, economics, biology, sociology, and many other topics.
College life is perhaps the hardest stage in a student’s educational struggle. As I always see and hear, most of the college students are really finding it hard to cope at this stage of their life. Along with problems in academics, college students seem to suffer more from a lot of stresses from other people and also from their environment. It makes me think of some questions, like what are the different sources of stress that affects college student? How do these stresses affect them with their personal and academic life?
Lastly, what are the possible ways of reducing or avoiding these stresses? With these questions in mind, I am thinking of many speculations and answers that can explain the stress on college students, their sources, effects on the students and the preventive actions or solutions on relieving these stresses. For me, one of the sources of stress for a college student is his environment. Considering the place where he lives, a student that came from a far place, upon entering college, will be staying in a dormitory or a house near the school.
I think that these will bring him stress since he need to adapt first to his new environment before he can actually live normally in his college life. Here comes the concept of home sickness especially for the case of freshmen since they are not used too in living far away from their home. This may lead to another type of stress which is the emotional stress, as they will miss their family and friends. Another source of stress that I can think of are the people around a college student, ranging from his roommate, classmates and to his teachers.
The peer pressure that a college student may experience will cause him to suffer from stress. For example, a college freshman who just entered a university was invited to attend an orientation party. In this type of occasion, he may meet different stress causing factors such as the pressure to drink alcohol or use drugs or even worse, the pressure to engage in sex. It will be hard for him to decide what to do especially if he is not used to drink alcohol or use drugs or have sex with strangers.
But he will also think that if he will not participate, he may be out casted by the people around him, and of course, that will cause him a lot of stress. In speaking of people that causes stress, I can also think of people that are taking the same professional degree as a college student. Different students have different intellectual capacities and when a college student is behind the intellectual performance of his co students, it may cause him stress. Along with a college student’s classmates, stress can also be the result of the pressure coming from the teacher.
It can either be the stress caused by the pressure during exams or for the case of honor students, the pressure to maintain and improved their grades as mandated by their teachers. Stresses in terms of academics not only brought by competition with others are the possible cause of stress but also by competing to a college students own self and trying to prove to himself that he can pass the subjects that he is taking. The struggle to cope up with academic stress might lead, as always the case, in sleep deprivation.
This is especially through for Freshmen College students who are coping with the lifestyle to get good grades and for graduating students whoa re doing a lot of work and passing terrible amount of requirements. I can say that sleep deprivation is one of the major causes of stress for college students. There is a high probability that it is directly related to the health stress that a college student might have. Also, when deprived of sleep, academic performance may decrease along with the participation in class discussions especially in the case of classes in the early morning.
This maybe attributed to the little level of attention or focus that might be given by the student during class. Aside from sleep deprivation, one of the major causes of stress for college students is financial problems. In college, it is not only enough that you can compete intellectually and socially but also, you need the resources which will enable you to do it so. For me, those students who came from poor families are the ones that suffer from this type of stress the most. Lastly, I can think that stress brought by self-belongingness is also a major stress that must be accounted in a college student’s life.
The feeling of loneliness when a student has no friends or acquaintances and the feeling of looking for a partner in life as pressured by the environment can make a student suffer from stress that can lead to emotional disturbances. Upon knowing the different sources and effects of stress for college students, the next question to be answered is, how does college students relieved themselves of these stresses or one way of stating this would be, how do college students cope up with these kind of stresses? The first answer that comes in my mind is through the company of their friends.
The first thing that a student who has a lot of problems will do is to talk to his friends and consult with them on what to do. Sometimes, the fact that you have friends to depend on during your college life is enough to relieve you of stress. For the case of stress brought about by problems in academic performance, many students are looking to other students for help. One such way is that they are joining academic organizations in order to gain access to academic archives that can help them to understand their academics better. This type of stress response mechanism can relieve stress in a lot of ways.
The academic support that can be given by the organization to the student, the self belongingness that can result from interacting with other people and the emotional stability that can be brought by that relationship are the major effect that this type of coping can give to a college student. For the cause of financial problems, some students are looking up to scholarship grants in order for them to support their education. Also, some of them are looking for part time jobs such that the allowance that they can get from their salaries can be used in support of their studies.
There are those types that study in the morning and are working during night, like in the call centers or fast food restaurants. For the case of stress brought about by the feeling of being alone and being home sick which is experienced mostly by freshmen students, most students relieved themselves of this stress by establishing a good relationship with their dormmates, roommates, and fellow students. In this way also, they will found self-belongingness in an environment that is new for them.
Upon presenting my question about the sources, effects, and response mechanisms on stresses that affect college students and after trying to figure out the answers to these questions by making speculations and hypothesis, I conducted a research to determine the validity of my arguments, upon which, the results are given here in this paper. In an article by Ross et. al. (1999), it was mentioned that a stress survey was conducted in order to determine its sources in the case of college students. The scope of scale that was studied range from inter and intrapersonal up to environmental factors that can cause stress.
Their findings revealed that among the top sources of stress for college students of varied gender and age are changes in sleeping and eating habits, type of work and new responsibilities. It was also mentioned in the article that the majority of the college students that are suffering from stress are freshmen as they try to excel academically and at the same time, they try to cope or adjust to their new environment. (Ross et. al. , 1999) In another study, stress quotients of college students were determined. This is a special case of studying the stress on college students because all the students that are part of the study are employed.
In that way, the stress on working college students was determined. It was known that higher stress will result from the jobs that are of highly prone to disease and illnesses. This resulted to their poor ability to cope with their environment in universities. (Murphy, 1993) From my research, I have known that the major sources of stress are those that come from the environment, from the inner self, physiological self, and the social self. Environmental source of stress includes noise, traffic, and weather while physiological source of stress includes diseases and lack of sleep.
On the other hand, inner self sources are those types that depend on how you react or cope with other stresses. Lastly, social self sources include problems about socialization and love life. Upon knowing the sources of stress for college students, its effects on the student were also determined. This includes physical problems like headaches, ulcer in the case of bad eating habits, muscle aches and increase in blood pressure and other illnesses. The effects can be extended not only to those of the body but also on a student’s emotional status. This includes mood swings, anxiety, depression in which most of the students suffer, and fear.
On the other hand, symptoms and effect on one’s cognition can also be the result of the different stresses of a college student. This includes forgetfulness, repetitive thoughts and concentration problems such that a student finds it hard to focus on one topic without thinking of the other topics. (www. counsel. efl. edu, 2006) Upon knowing the effects that are caused by these different stresses in a college student, what are then the ways or possible solutions that can be done to minimize or removed these stresses in an average college student? The overall response that a student can do is to develop a healthy lifestyle.
Even though there is the presence of stress, the way that we react to it will determine what will be its effect to us. Developing a balanced lifestyle will improve health conditions and if you are in good health, you can minimize the effect of stress better as compare to those who are sick. Another solution is through the discussion with other people. Doing discussions with trusted friends will make a student feel relieved and will lessen the burden of the stress that a student is experiencing. Lastly, specific relaxation techniques will really help a person to relieve himself of stress.
This includes different practices such as meditation, yoga, and muscle relaxing activities. (www. counsel. efl. edu, 2006) Through my research, I have validated that the sources, effects, and treatments for the stress on college students that I have hypothesized were all correct. This paper has presented a deeper and clearer approach to what seems a very big problem of stress. In conclusion, stress of college students come from various sources with various effects but still, there also various ways of preventing ourselves from suffering in these stresses.