College Application Advice: 5 Things High School Seniors Should Avoid, Under All Circumstances

5 Things You Shouldn't Do When Applying To College
Hand Completing a University Application Form
Hand Completing a University Application Form

Applying to college is stressful -- but you knew that. Students have a million things to worry about, from researching different programs to choosing their final list of schools, not to mention keeping up with the long list of deadlines.

But it doesn't have to be that way. Here's a list of five common things people get wrong about the college admissions process, and avoiding them will save you a lot of stress in the long run. Sound off in the comments below with any additions and share your college de-stressing tips by tweeting @HuffPostTeen!

1. Pretending to be someone you're not. Padding your resume with a million extracurriculars -- but nothing you are truly passionate about -- isn't going to help you find the college that is the perfect fit for you. Once you embrace who you are and what you love, you'll probably find that expressing yourself in your application will be much easier.

2. Not being aware of your social media footprint. Take that extra two mins and set your social media accounts to private until after the college application process is over. Do it now. Then read this piece on what NOT to post to college Facebook pages.

3. Forgetting to proofread. You're filling out tons of apps -- we get it. But do not, under any circumstances, accidentally use the wrong school's name in an essay or application. It happens more often than you would think. Buddy up with a friend and proofread each other's applications.

4. Bombarding admissions staff with emails and phone calls. It's easy to forget that there are actual human beings on the other end of the phone and Internet when you have "urgent" questions about the admissions process. Keep in mind that the people who answer your phone calls are sometimes the same people who read your application. Don't be annoying. Don't panic. And always, always check the FAQ on the website before picking up the phone.

5. Leaving your personal statement for the last minute. Your college essay is arguably the most important part of your application because it gives you the chance to tell the admissions counselors something real about you. This is why it's often daunting to get started, but try to keep this in mind: the first draft you write will not be the one you end up submitting, and it won't be perfect. But you have to start somewhere, and the sooner you start jotting down ideas, the better. The personal statement prompt on the Common Application stays consistent, so you don't have to wait until the month before it's due. Check out our Mission: Accepted series to read blog posts from real high school seniors about their college application process.

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