The people who told you that senior year is “the best year of your life,” or how it will be “the most fun you will ever have,” clearly forgot tell you that you have get past the most stressful couple months of your life first. Going through a whole process of applications, deadlines, fees, and essays isn’t really considered the best time of your life. Maybe it is supposed to be once you get over the deadlines, papers, and stress, but it surely isn’t right away.
Coming into my senior year, before it even began, I could tell it was going to be stressful. I was already worried about signing up for the SATs to improve my score from last year. Going on college visits all throughout summer already had my mind stuck in college mode. Where do I want to go? What kind of school is right for me? Or the biggest one of all, what do I want to do for the rest of my life? The questions sit on your shoulders like giant weights you are just trying to get off. They are all you ever think about. You go out and you see people you know, you get the same exact questions over and over again. “Where do you want to go?” and it continues, “What do you want to do?” You end up repeating yourself feeling like you sound like a broken record.
High school students start freshman year not even thinking about college. It is not relevant to you. Sophomore year, it begins to creep in the back of your mind and you start taking schools into consideration and how to prepare for it all. By junior year, your stress begins with SATs and college visits. By the time you get to senior year your stress level is at an all-time high.
If you haven’t started it already, the college essay begins to bear down on you. This, may I add, is completely different from any other essay you have written in your high school career. It’s has a specific style and format different from any other type of essay. You don’t want all the fluffy details and extras like you put into your regular five-paragraph essay that you have written for every lit paper, ever. You want to keep it short, simple, and straight to the point. It’s a lot more difficult than you think to say how you a lone could impact an entire school of thousands of people in 500 words or less. Or talking about your greatest accomplishments, who or what has impacted your life the most, and what do you see yourself having accomplished in 10 years after school.
It’s almost as if you want to write all these essays and fill out these applications just be able to get them over with. Then you think, once I send this in, there is no going back. You can’t rewrite essays and applications to change something. You want it all to be perfect so you have every chance possible of getting into that school.
For me, it was harder to pick the schools I wanted to apply to. Most kids look at schools and eventually find one they fall in love with. That hasn’t happened to me. No school completely to stood out me. No school made me say, “I have to go there!” So picking where I wanted to apply has been difficult, I didn’t know if I was making anywhere close to the right decision of where I should go. All I can do is hope that I will eventually find my match and I can call it “my” school and be proud to go there.
Hitting send on your first application is unbelievably one of the most relieving things, but it also adds a whole new different type of stress to you. You begin to think if you can even get in. Why would any school choose me over thousands of other applicants? Then you have to wait weeks, and sometimes even months to get your acceptance letter. The one simple letter that can offset the course of your life. Everything you worked for all throughout high school could feel pointless if a denial ends up in the palm of your hands. And all you can do is sit there in suspense…