The unpredictability of COVID and the influx of applications in recent years may leave this year’s applicants with unanswered questions. This year is the second cohort to apply for a place since the pandemic began. As never before, specific options at each college depend on the institution – and can vary from week to week depending on COVID conditions on campus or in the surrounding community. Make sure the deadlines and writing requirements on the Common Application portal are the same as those listed on each institution’s website. Due to vaccinations and security policy changes, many universities may accept prospective students on campus for visits and interviews. Going to college already requires young people to think about the future, and when uncertainty is added to that, the stress of making a decision increases. If you have determined which institution you like best, you should choose it in the first round of applications because you will have to compete with fewer applicants. In the meantime, colleges continue to offer many virtual tours, forums, and discussion boards that they have developed to build relationships with off-campus applicants. Many colleges require this additional document, which includes a summary of your major extracurricular activities, awards, and leadership positions. By focusing on your own process, you will gain a sense of calm amidst the uncertainty that comes with applying to college. Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities® is a registered trademark of Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, Inc. And that’s on top of the organizational burden of this year’s applicants, many of whom are still under the stress of the pandemic. That confidence becomes its own reward as you learn more about yourself as you pursue your college dreams. Despite the abundance of resources, this year’s applicants remain in uncertain waters.