College Applications Bring Stress for Seniors in the Fall

by Emma Shuster ‘18

“Make sure you have a transcript!”

“Make sure that your teachers have submitted all of your letters of recommendations!”

“Your essay needs to be creative and have the reader fall in love with you!”

“Applications are due in less than two weeks!”

These are all just a fraction of the phrases that make fall one of the most stressful parts of the year for high school seniors. Between school, clubs, sports, a social life, and college applications, seniors have to deal with many extra levels of pressure during the fall.

“I wish I started narrowing down my college list earlier,” admitted senior Katherine Nehrbass.“I’ve been in a frantic state trying to pick my ‘dream school.’ Finding criterion on what you find important in a college is easy, but you have an infinite amount of colleges that you need to research, to find the colleges that will meet your criteria,” said Nehrbass.

As of late September, senior Kelhan Bailey was still in the process of writing her college admissions essay because she was never told at what point to get that done. Bailey has had to worry about how many of her deadlines were quickly approaching, mostly due at the same time.

“Most of my schools have a November 1 deadline, meaning I had to have everything done by October 11. Because of this, it was hard for me to even enjoy the anticipation of homecoming or football games when I am constantly drowning in stress. I also took my third SAT on October 7, so I also had to study for that everyday. In total honesty, the stress is extremely overwhelming and very hard to deal with,” said Bailey.

Bailey is not alone in her struggle. In a study conducted by the University of California-Los Angeles, around 30 percent of newly-admitted college freshmen say they constantly felt overwhelmed by their workload during their senior year of high school.

To help ease the intensity of the college application process, Nehrbass recommends keeping a journal of everything one has done throughout high school. Entries may include clubs, retreats, honors societies, awards, etc. Such organizational strategies can take away a bit of pressure from seniors during this stressful season.

While college applications definitely take up a bulk of time and dramatically increase stress on students, there is always something positive at the end.

“I am looking forward to the feeling of relief after I submit all of my applications. Furthermore, I am anticipating the day when I get accepted into a college. It’s a great feeling knowing that you have been working tirelessly for four years, and all of your endeavors have finally paid off. I can’t wait to see what happens next and where I end up going,” said Nehrbass.