It’s All About Getting In


Alyssa Wright

Students must fill out a multitude of forms in order to apply for college.

High school seniors look forward to the activities that their final year has to offer. Senior year is filled with new and exciting adventures including prom, spring break, and graduation. Before anyone can enjoy these events, however, the students have to face one final pressure. It is the pressure of applying and being accepted to college.

The pressure of ensuring perfection in a timely matter while pleasing parents, themselves, their peers, and colleges, is something that can only add to the stressful process of determining what to do with their futures. This stress, although undergone by most adults with college experience, is easily forgotten when it comes time for the next generation to do it.

Obviously, parents have the best of intentions in helping their children apply to colleges, but sometimes their efforts can be counterproductive. The constant reminders of deadlines for applications and other required forms increase the student’s stress levels, adding pressure to the student to complete and perfect all applications as soon as physically possible. In addition, some parents create pressure to perform well in order to receive the best scholarships.

“They always tell me that I need to get as many scholarships as I can and that I need to submit everything as soon as possible, even if it’s a month before the deadline,” said senior Jackie Schade.

Along with completing all requirements as perfectly and quickly as possible, students also stress over the awaited acceptance notice. As they near the end of high school, seniors want to feel as though they have wisely spent their time and are headed down a desirable path. Selecting a university to attend is one of the most important decisions that we have had to face thus far, and we want to have the opportunity to decide where we would like to go.

“I don’t want to be disappointed. I don’t want everything that I worked on the last four years to go to waste,” stated senior Isabelle Daskis. Senior Jack Censoni agreed, adding, “It’s the biggest decision we’ve made in our lives and it will affect the rest of our lives.”

Some students allow this important decision to be affected by their peers as well. The pressure to apply and attend the same school as one’s friends is simply one more source of stress placed upon the student. The stress is derived from the contrasting desires to attend the best school for the applicant and to attend the same school as his friends.

“If a lot of my friends are applying to a college, I might apply there where I might not have otherwise,” said Senior Eric Forkin.

Even after this major decision, there is still substantial pressure from the colleges that must be faced. Deadlines, essays, transcripts, and recommendations must be in as soon as possible.

“They put deadlines on early action and early decision applications. They put pressure on kids to get essays done, submit applications, and get transcripts in,” said Mrs. Mieszczak. Counselor Mrs. King, added, “Kids are concerned about getting in. They’re afraid to hit the submit button.”

To lessen the stress and pressure it is important to get ahead in the process. Counselor Mr. Freund offered a few tips to help the upcoming seniors do so. “Work on narrowing your college choices to three or four. One should be that ‘reach school’. Over the summer, work on your college essays, your resume, and take college trips.” With this advice, it should enable upcoming seniors to manage applying to colleges at a more steady and manageable pace.

In the end, all students must ultimately press that submit button despite the pressures.