College search process with Ms. Evans!


Photo by John Leonardo

Sophomore Jordan Kelbert discusses future Penn State plans with college aid Gayle Evans. Evans has helped Kelbert, like many other students, with managing the college process and search as well as summer programs and jobs for seven years.

As fall kicks into high gear, students fear the dreaded college application process. After finally escaping the long haul of  junior year, seniors are slammed with the Common and Coalition Applications, as well as countless personal and supplemental essays and overly short deadlines. Aside from the painful and tiresome process with completing apps, teachers seem to be meeting in secret to pile on as much work as they can, just for the fun of it.

Finding the perfect college can be overwhelming, especially for students who are just leaving their high school bubble. It’s almost impossible to know exactly what you want to major in when you’re only 17 years old – not to mention having to maintain stellar grades and extracurricular activities to make sure that whatever colleges you’re applying to actually accepts your application.

The whole first semester of senior year simply gets more and more difficult, but thankfully, there are some great resources at Walter Johnson who are glad help to ease the stress. Gayle Evans, one of the aids in this process, knows just about how everything works in the college process and is able to keep track of each and every deadline. She’s always in her office willing to answer any tricky questions about the SAT and ACT, early action and early decision or what different types of colleges tend to look at when choosing applicants.

Our god-sent counselors play a major role in the college process as well. They analyze our schedule and transcript and try to help us find our right fit. They also help us manage our Naviance account and which essays and assignments to work on to make sure we are staying on task efficiently.

Although there are many helpful people working at WJ, taking personal time to really focus and get things done takes up about 90 percent of the college process. Even though no one wants to spend an extra couple of hours on the weekends, it’s a necessity to avoid procrastination. Counselors and Evans may be there for support, but those 650-word essays and top-college lists won’t get done unless precious free time is traded in exchange for writing time.

The large amounts of time and work will be well worth the effort as second semester will be a period of excitement and de-stress as you wait for the next four years of your life.