A Senior Perspective: The College Process

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By Sydney Rosenthal

College is a time and a place where students can learn, grow and thrive in a certain field of expertise. It is a time when students party, yet also study to graduate and enter “the real world.” The line between youth and adulthood has become blurred by the college-related pressures which are thrust upon today’s seniors. The college application process is a stressful time for students, parents and college counselors.

The final year of high school requires a great deal of preparation and a certain mindset. Seniors still have to keep their grades up while they complete the arduous application process, and deadlines creep up on seniors at an alarming rate. The series of steps that one takes in the process includes tackling the main essay, additionally writing the supplement essays, and filling out financial aid forms and questions about yourself, and answering the “why this college” essay.

Whether one plans to apply to two colleges or to 14 colleges, the process is still time consuming and nerve-racking. “I hope that the demonstrative lessons and information sessions given out by Schreiber High School and its staff members can help lessen the anxiety and stress that students go through as they apply to college during the first half of their senior year,” said Hank Hardy, Director of Guidance. Each college requires their own application and no two applications are the same. Even though there is the Common Application or the Coalition Application, one must still go through the intense process which may determine where one will spend the next chapter of their life.

Once students apply to college there is a major waiting period. Almost all colleges have an early action deadline of Nov. 1 and an early decision, a binding application, deadline of Nov. 15. Students who apply within the two deadlines typically do not hear from these colleges until mid to late December. Regular decision applicants have until Jan. 1 to get their application in and do not get notified until late March. The waiting period can seem never ending because students are so eager and impatient to know the final decision.

The college application process is unavoidable for almost all high school seniors, and the beginning of the year is crunch time. Whether you are writing supplement essays each night or are stressing because you fear that you won’t get accepted anywhere, college is always on your mind. Additionally, one must still stay on top of school work while juggling college deadlines.

The college application procedure, although a lot to handle, must be put into perspective. After all, once a student has committed to a specific college or university things will fall into place and most young people adapt well to the environment which they have chosen. It may be a disappointment at first if the college of one’s dreams did not come through, but there is so much more to the future than just one decision letter. A young person should understand and take a step back to realize that “everything happens for a reason.” This is a major part of growing up and becoming a successful individual.

Sydney Rosenthal is a senior at Schreiber High School.

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