College application advice from trusty Rosary Alumnae


Photo Provided by Rosary Academy

Rosary Alumni Mary Nassar ’22 on her graduation day

Allison Lillestol, Copy- Editor

It’s the most not-so wonderful time of the year: college application time. You can probably a tell a senior by her stress and the fact that the Common App tab is always open on her laptop.

But here to make this maddening time a little less stressful are some helpful alumnae to give advice to ease the stress of all that is applying to college!

Katie Thomas ’22 is a freshman at Chapman University. She shared a little bit about her experience:

Q: What is something you wish you knew before applying to college? 

Katie Thomas ’22 all smiles at Chapman University (Photo Provided by Katie Thomas)

A: I wish I knew just how many essays you have to write that are different for every school. I mean, I knew there were a lot, but WOW. It helped me to make a separate google doc for each school and put all of their questions on there, filling the answers out as ideas came to me (or when they needed to be written).

Q: For all the seniors applying, what advice would you give them? 

A: Everything is going to turn out ok! You will finish your applications, you will get accepted to schools, and you will end up where you’re meant to be. As Mr. Bevins constantly reminded my class last year, everything is going to be ok. Find joy in the process! Romanticize filling out your college apps, write about things that light a spark in your soul, and remember that what you’re working towards is worth all the late nights, last-minute edits, and intense stress. Also, making a spreadsheet to track the progress and due dates of all your applications is very helpful. I believe in you!!

Mary Nassar’ 22 is a freshman at UCLA majoring in English. She shared her encouraging outlook on college applications:

Q: For those who are struggling with deciding their major, what advice would you give them?

A: My advice for those who are still unsure about what major to pursue in college is this: it’s perfectly fine to not know your intended major your senior year. You’re 17/18 years old. There’s still so much life left for you to live, so many experiences you have yet to make. Interests and passions can change, grow, and develop as we move through different seasons of our lives–that’s just how life works. When trying to figure out what major you want to declare, try to think about these things: what sets your soul on fire? What could you read, learn, or talk about for hours and hours on end without getting bored? What subject excites you enough to study it for the next four years? And always try to remember: your major doesn’t necessarily always dictate your career. That’s what’s so great about humans: we’re interdisciplinary beings at heart and have so many interests and passions.

Mary Nassar’ 22 on her first day at UCLA (Photo Provided by Mary Nassar ’22)

Q: How did you balance school and college applications?

A: What I found helped was doing all the tedious filling out basic information about yourself more toward the beginning of the school year, and then slowly bit by bit started writing down and figuring out what activities I would write about, and I picked out my essay prompts and scribbled down brief notes and outlines to help me frame my thoughts better for when I actually sat down to write my essay drafts. I definitely think school work sometimes made it hard to make significant progress on college applications on certain days, but I think a helpful way to try to balance both is to not force yourself to spend hours on college apps every day. Maybe something more realistic would be spending 15 to 20 minutes every day on college apps–if you can bump it up to 30, great, but 15 to 20 minutes will allow you to at least make a step of progress–and any progress is good progress and worth celebrating.


For Grace Horeczko’ 22, her college experience was a little different. Majoring in acting brought her out of California and into the birthplace of Brad Pitt: Missouri. Grace shared her experience:

Q: What was it like moving to a different state for college?

A: Moving to a different state, especially across the country, took a lot of courage. I was so scared and unsure of basically everything, but the minute I took a step back and let myself enjoy it, I started thriving. I’ve made connections with so many people from around the world I otherwise wouldn’t have, and I get to experience life in a brand-new culture. Every day is a learning curve, but in the process, I am learning about new parts of myself that I didn’t know before. It’s been the most eye-opening experience for me and I really do recommend it!

Grace Horeczko ’22 posing outside her sorority house Alpha Sigma Alpha (Photo Provided by Grace Horeczko)

Q: How did you know the college you picked was the one for you?

A: The experience I had finding my university is not a common one. I am an Acting major, and the process for applying and eventually attending these programs is cutthroat, it really pushes you, and forces you to search for schools you would normally turn a blind eye to. I never would’ve thought I would be going to school in the middle of Missouri, it was a huge leap of faith for me. The minute I started my first week of school, I started to love my classes, my professors, and what they all stood for. This and the program, the professors, the people around me, and the environment itself are all reasons why I knew why this place is meant for me. It really always comes down to what you want and what the institution can give to you.

I know this last question maybe seem a bit weird but it turned out to be very telling. And as a writer, I feel like it is my duty to ask the important questions.

Q: What food would college be? Explain.

Katie: College would definitely be a Cup of Noodles (and not just because it’s typical cheap dorm food). If you take it for what it is initially, you’re not gonna like it (I mean, it’s freeze-dried). It looks good, but you’re not going to eat it like that. But put in a little bit of effort–warm water–and give it some time, and it turns into a delicious main dish. Sure, it’s not the fanciest thing you’ll ever eat, but it’s kinda funny like that. It’s different than what you’re used to. And you made it all yourself which, I think, is something to be proud of.

Mary: I’d probably have to say BBQ chicken and mac n’ cheese. I don’t know why that was the first thing that popped into my head, but I’m rolling with it. Honestly, whenever the De Neve dining hall serves some variation of meat with barbeque sauce and a side of mac n’ cheese for dinner, I always get super excited because it just tastes so so good (and it proves my theory that the dining hall has superior food and is way m

Wise words on Katie Thomas’ wall (Photo Provided by Katie Thomas)

ore aesthetic at dinner than at lunch). Absolutely superb. I just associate so many good memories with going with Katie Fang ‘22 to the dining hall for dinner, eating these wonderful foods, and just talking about life or howling with laughter at random nonsense.

Grace: I would say that my college would be a pickle. To explain, I personally did not like pickles until about three weeks ago. My initial impression of pickles was that they were gross and I wanted nothing to do with them. But then, my roommate one day brought back a package of pre-packaged pickle chips and I decided to try them. Ever since that day, I have been hooked. I just can’t get enough of them. I never would have found my university or gone to it if I didn’t try it from a different perspective, much like the pickle story. I am so happy where I am and will forever be grateful that I took the leap of faith!


College applications can be a stressful time but with these Royal’s support, anything is possible. If you are currently applying to college or it’s in your near future, good luck, and I hope this advice can help you out!