Stressing the college process

Jay Senior College

Jay Marketos

J. Marketos

Because the school year has just started, some seniors may feel like a deer in the headlights when it comes to applying to college. Many things go into the college application process. Be it online or on paper, the amount of letters of recommendation, essays, references, and data to collect can be overwhelming.

Students applying to college are guided by Kings High School counselors and the process as a whole is made easier through technology called Common App. Students first must find out what colleges they want to attend, apply for various scholarships and colleges, and also keep up on all the testing required. 

One tool all Kings seniors use during this process is Naviance, a website designed to organize all of these tasks and collect them all in one place, from the initial search all the way up to submitting an application.

The hardest part about the application process is the fact that students are essentially trying to market themselves to every college they wish to attend. Counselors agree that most colleges tend to look at GPA and ACT/SAT scores.

However, some often overlooked assets that can help students stand out to college admissions boards are broader than test scores. How well-rounded is the student? How have the grown and challenged themselves? Do they volunteer? Participate in extracurricular activities and sports? Do they hold a job while attending school?

KHS Counselor Alex Garvin confirmed that colleges try to get “the big picture,” and weigh how students have performed academically and challenged themselves with more difficult classes and even overcome specific struggles in their lives. He said colleges don’t necessarily want just an academic student, but a hard-working person as a whole.

“The whole process is so holistic that students tend to find themselves overwhelmed,” Garvin said. “Balance is good and the best thing someone can do is just be the best at what they do.”

He added that as long as students are doing what they like and putting in the work in school, the colleges they want to attend will present themselves. In other words, the process should not feel threatening or stressful.

Yet it still can be daunting for many students. Some KHS seniors have already begun the process and are feeling the stress.

“The hardest part is all the essays,” said senior Maddi Kilgore.”The questions were a lot more personal than I expected, and honestly the whole application wasn’t something you could do on your own.”

However, each year the vast majority of Kings seniors who desire to go to college seem to make it through. With help from teachers, counselors, administrators and parents, leaving Kings and starting the college experience works. Every class takes its turn. And the Class of 2016 will follow suit.

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