How personal should you get in your personal essay?
I would not put a hard limit on how personal you can get with essays. Simply remember to be professional and that the purpose should be to answer the question in a way that highlights your candidacy.
How long should you wait for a response from the admissions office?
Usually, college admissions offices give you a date for letting you know if you are accepted. If you have not heard anything by this date, play it safe and assume you need to consider other options.
What was it like if you got denied by a college that you wanted to go to?
I did not receive acceptance to a couple of the main schools to which I applied. However, I was not disappointed in not being able to go because I had other options of equal value.
Were new criteria established for college admission since the COVID-19 pandemic?
For the COVID-19 pandemic, there were certain tests like the SAT that were not required. I had already submitted my test scores by that time. Additionally, it is a good idea to check if your desired colleges offer any scholarships because of the pandemic.
What were your expectations of your first year of college? What has been the reality?
The only part of college that has turned out the way I expected was the academic portion. This year, socializing and club engagement were a bit underwhelming, as there was not very much happening on campus.
What guidance would you provide to a tenth grader to help him or her be successful in high school and competitively prepared for college?
Do not shy away from taking on leadership roles in extracurriculars. Challenge yourself with Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and Dual Credit classes. Success in these classes will build your confidence, prepare you for the academic rigors of college, and make your college resume competitive.