By Halimah Kargbo
These two simple words invoke both fear and excitement in high school seniors everywhere. Each year, seniors count down the days until their first application is due, and this year is no different. Despite the drastic changes in day to day life, the stress that comes with applying to college continues to loom large for seniors.
“The deadline seems to be approaching so quickly and with schoolwork, I feel like I don’t have enough time to do everything I need to,” senior Ada Wang says. This feeling of being overwhelmed is, unfortunately, not an unusual sentiment.
“Balancing homework and dealing with applications and stuff right now is really difficult. I have two weeks of French homework that I have to do because I was focused on my college apps last week, so yeah, it’s just a lot piling on,” Alexis Narh, another senior at Hammond added.
Both students gave their stress level a rating that was greater than 5/10, indicating that they felt a good deal of pressure with college applications. They also expressed worry about how much support they are getting during this process.
“I feel like I am getting some support because the counselors are doing all that they can, but I also feel like the pandemic has gotten in the way of being able to ask teachers whenever we need help,” Alexis comments. Evidently, she is not the only one who feels this way. The online learning setting has made it a bit more difficult for students to get face-to-face support with their applications, but seniors are still pushing through regardless of the circumstances. They are even finding ways to “de-stress” when college applications are getting to them— and sometimes, it can be as easy as just taking a moment to relax.
Senior Camryn Johnson reveals her own way to relieve stress, saying “I read, listen to music, or I hang out with family and friends! It really helps to talk about [the college application process] and then get our minds off of it by having fun.”
It’s all too easy to get caught in the pressure of college without remembering to take a break. Unwinding is crucial, and it’s good that seniors are remembering to make time for it.
“I usually meditate or read my Bible,” senior Jac’ey Wynn-Ogunbode adds. “That takes my mind off the impending doom of deadlines.”
Now, after all of this, are seniors feeling more or less excited about college? The answer to that has mixed messages; some students are definitely looking forward to college more than others.
“I love looking at the schools and their different programs—it’s making me look forward to [college],” Camryn feels. On the other hand, some students are feeling more worried about college because of the application process.
“The college application process has made me less excited about going to college,” says Jacey. “There are so many choices, and you never know if you’re picking the right college for your needs. It would be better if we could visit college campuses and truly learn about each college’s dynamics.”
Colleges have implemented many virtual ways to get to know their schools, but it is harder to get a feel for them if you aren’t in person. Despite these new challenges, seniors: remember to take it easy, and good luck with your applications!
Resources are available under Hammond High School Student Resources on Canvas.