Senior stress

November 6, 2017

Senior slide right? Wrong, the only sliding seniors are doing is sliding into a mess of college applications, scholarship applications, tuition costs, roommate decisions, and the overarching conclusion of where you will spend your next two or four years. And might I add we seniors didn’t even really slide into it? Instead, it was more of a drop-off into a pool of unrelenting stress.

College preparation is almost entirely saved until you hit your senior year. You cannot apply to colleges unless you’re a senior. Some scholarships are applicable to juniors, however, most are for seniors, and college commitments are not made until your senior year. Not to mention the constant bombardment of emails from potential colleges scouting you. These factors all add up and make an immense moment into a stress-ridden event.

We cannot forget our school counselors though. These counselors do tremendous work reminding us of deadlines, helping with applications, and even weighing in on college decisions. Their work does not go unnoticed, but at the end of the day, we are still the ones dealing with all the stress.

So why is such a large life decision held off until the year before you need to make it? Would it not help if we divvied up the process among all four years of high school, or even your last two years?

Speaking to seniors, many of them agreed applying to college is very stressful. Ally Koopman, a senior here at SHS, proclaimed: “It is so stressful because you spend all this time thinking you know where to go and you get accepted, but then you second guess yourself and are stressed about making the wrong choice.” Many seniors can attest to the gut-wrenching feeling of making the wrong decision. Some students feel right at the home when they visit that one college, but others do not get that specific feeling about colleges. Erin Stone, another senior at SHS, said, “Applying for scholarships is hard when there are so many of them.” The list of scholarships go on and on, so to be able to find the best ones and apply for them is nearly impossible.

Older siblings sometimes are no help either. Many of them feel the need to push you to go to the schools they attend, instead of letting you make the decision for yourself. Sorry siblings, but we do not need even more stress when choosing our schools.

The applications and decisions are one factor of the stress, but we cannot forget the competitiveness in school. It feels as if each school class is getting smarter and more AP classes are opening up. If one student is taking an AP class then you have to because you do not want to fall behind in the game of credits. These classes are meant to help provide free college credits, and while in the end, many colleges do accept the credits, does the end really justify the means of stress?

Everyone always says, “college will be the best four years of your life,” but they always forget to mention, “senior year will be the most stressful year of your life.”

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