College Application Season

Taylor Harrison, Social Media Manager

As college application deadlines are approaching, students must handle the responsibilities of completing schoolwork, as well as finishing and editing their college essays. University of California’s applications were due on Nov. 30, while early application deadlines varied. Downey High School students in AP classes are able to manage their time wisely while others struggle to complete them in the very last minutes.


Students, like Alexandra Rapalo, 12, chose to apply to their dream school early. On Nov. 26, Rapalo was notified by Biola University that she was accepted to their private Christian campus and feels relieved that she does not have to constantly worry about schoolwork during her last year at Downey High School.


“It was difficult getting the admissions officers to fall in love with me in 350 words or less because I really wanted to express myself,” Rapalo said. “I am so grateful, thankful, and thrilled that I have already been accepted to my first choice and  I am also excited to see which other, if any, colleges I will get accepted to.”


Students used their creativity to come up with special strategies and unique work plans to motivate them in preparation for writing the applications.


Yanni Ramirez, 12, chose not to procrastinate and explains the distinct technique he used to bring out his inner strengths.


“In starting applications, I had these sort of ‘spirit quests’ where I would do things like listen to music or even go camping to find specific qualities, quirks, or whatever that I have,” Ramirez said. “I started my apps at least a month before they were due, giving me some time to plan, but not too much time to where I might want to change it completely because I was tired of my essays.”


Through the stress and ups and downs, students turned towards teachers, friends and family for support. Faculty helped seniors edit their personal statements and make any necessary changes to ensure they were on track. Others acted as mentors throughout the application process.


Friends and teachers helped guide Lizette Chavez, 12, by giving her suggestions and mental support. When she was unsure of what to do, Chavez found guidance from her peers Brian Chavez, 12, and Trevor Hill, 12.


“My teachers really helped me with editing my essays which is one of the most important parts,” Chavez said. “One time I couldn’t figure out where to submit on the Common Application and my friends helped me out because I was stressing like crazy.”


Seniors who applied will anxiously wait to be notified by UC’s in the month of March while some are waiting to be notified by universities in the month of December. Wherever they decide to go will be an enormous step into adulthood and the rest of their lives.