Stressful Seniors are the new epidemic.
Senior year is a lot more stressful than many members of the class of 2014 anticipated. While the year brings glorious events like graduation and senior prom, it also ushers in a whole mess of anxiety and stress thanks to the college application process.
“College applications really [stink],” says senior Sasha Baker.
Applying to college is a brutal and lengthy process. Not only is there the Common Application (which includes two essays and multiple other pages of information to fill out), but many schools request supplements. These are additional essays on a topic of the college’s choosing. Additionally, for those stressful seniors students applying to art schools or art programs within a college, portfolios are required.
For students who hate writing essays, this is the worst time of the year.
“I’m a horrible writer and I really just hate writing,” shared one senior. “So having to write all these essays for colleges is not fun at all. I especially believe that writing the main essay for the Common App will make me go insane.”
To further add to the stress, seniors are expected to balance this demanding process with a full course load. Due to the fact that many colleges like to see students continue to challenge themselves into their senior year, many seniors find themselves forced to juggle hard classes with this process. Managing the two can be extremely difficult.
“The college application process definitely has an effect on how much time I have to dedicate myself to my school work,” explains senior Linda Meliani. “I would definitely be getting better grades if I had the extra time. However, I’m managing.”
Not many seniors are as lucky as Meliani; some have seen their grades slip because of an inability to balance the two. “I’m falling behind in some of my classes just because I’m up late working on applications,” admitted one senior.
In addition to the stress of filling out the applications, once they’re sent in there’s the oh-so-horrible anxiety of waiting to hear back. In recent years, the college application process has gotten increasingly competitive over time.
Colleges seemingly demand super-humans, so it’s stressful for students to apply because they fear they won’t fit the mold. The average senior hasn’t found the cure to cancer or designed wildly successful software, so applying to schools that seem to demand this is frightening.
“I’m so nervous to hear back, not because I’m not a good student or haven’t worked hard, but because the process is so competitive and you really never know what’s going to happen,” shares Meliani.
The wait for decisions is excruciating, especially for those who haven’t applied early decision or early action, considering they won’t hear news until spring.
It’s important to note that, while the year is riddled with stressing, heartbreak and anxiety, it’s still senior year, the finale to your high school experience, which will yield memories to last a lifetime. The stress that you’re experiencing right now will all be worth it come May when you know where you’re headed and senior option, prom, graduation and your future are on the not-so-distant horizon. Good luck to the stressful seniors.