Overtaking the Senior Mind
Article by Gabriella Stover
The December 1st deadline for college applications has finally passed, and the wait for acceptance letters is now over. All throughout September, October, and November, seniors spent hours and hours writing essays, collecting old grades, rewards, transcripts, in order to make the best impression on every college they apply to. The strenuous, prolonged applications can easily stress out any student.
Kellyn Schroeder is one of these seniors who has felt the pressure of making life changing decisions. Kellyn is a high achieving, very hardworking student, who has maintained a very impressive GPA, along with an intense after school dance schedule. She participates in the school’s competitive dance team and a studio team with practice 5 to 7 days a week. On top of this she is in National and Spanish honors society with many responsibilities. Night after night she stayed up, trying to maintain her GPA and get through several lengthy applications. Kellyn applied to University of North Carolina, Miami University, Ohio State University, Vanderbilt University, University of Tennessee Knoxville, and Northwestern University, all impressive schools with high expectancies from their students. All this work built up sleep deprivation, stress, and a lack of hope.
“I have had many late nights and many times where I felt that I couldn’t possibly get all of my work done,” said Kellyn. “ There has been many times where I felt extremely stressed and I almost didn’t apply to two of the schools that I applied to. I couldn’t keep up with all of the essays that I had to write not only for the regular application, but for scholarships. I am still currently scrambling to write scholarship essays even though I am done with the initial applications. Most of the time, it feels like I’m never finished, like I’m never caught up.”
Kellyn isn’t the only senior who is feeling the pressure. Senior Jessica Wright also explains her struggle, “I started applying in August and officially finished in the beginning of October. It was a very stressful time since I had to do it all on top of my school work.”
Jessica is also a student athlete on the varsity dance team who is slammed with practices five days a week, while trying to keep a job at Tumble Bees. Jessica has also maintained a very impressive academic status and has applied to many colleges that reflects her level of intelligence, such as, Auburn University, Clemson University, Miami University, University of Kentucky, University of Dayton, and Virginia Tech. Jessica expressed her struggles during this time, “It was a very stressful time since I had to do it (apply to all of her selected schools) on top of my school work. There should be a better way to do it. It was not worth all the stress I got from it.”
According to Real Simple Magazine, 49% of students reported feeling stressed daily from school work alone. Their study found that many students feel pressure to achieve well academically from their parents, and not just to receive a diploma, but to also receive an acceptance letter from top-tier universities. Students are feeling this intense amount of pressure but don’t know how to deal with it. The students who spoke to the Knight Times explained that they didn’t have techniques for dealing with their stress. They force themselves to push through it.
Counselors are employed to help students deal with these big tasks, yet many students decide not to resort to their help.
“This is a stressful time in a teenagers life for sure. I certainly have some who are stressed but overall it has been a pretty stress free fall in terms of college decisions,” explained Mr. Garvin
Kings offers a process to get in contact with counselors to schedule a meeting and talk over whatever is necessary to help solve student’s problems.
“I am responsible for informing students of college options, how to do the common app, how to request transcripts, how to find scholarships, how to request letters of recommendation, how to build a strong application with your essay, understanding the FAFSA,” said Counselor Mr. Garvin.
King’s students agree that college is worth all of this stress.
“I am going to college to gain more knowledge. I want to explore subjects I haven’t gotten the chance to study. I want to explore different cultures and meet new people. I think that college provides the location to do all of this. In my opinion, college is a time of self-discovery and I’m excited to venture into this part of my life,” exclaimed Kellyn.
Brendan Beattie is a senior who was offered a spot on the Miami football team, and explained that stress was a confronted conflict when making his decision but knew the value in all the hard work, “I was stressed when I was applying, but it was worth it.”