The Stressful College Application Season Brings Student Fears And Doubts

Sara Pender, Staff Writer

As the first college application deadline approaches, seniors begin to double down on their applications, essays and letters of recommendation. The entire process, which is quite tedious and grueling on its own, is in addition to an already stressful final year of high school, making the first months of the year all the more strenuous. 

Alexis Hoy, ‘22, a senior International Baccalaureate Diploma candidate (IB Dip Can), said, “in a strange way it’s not difficult to do, it’s just extremely overwhelming in addition to the already rigorous schedule and coursework we have.” 

Even without the challenging homework and additional assignments in the program, the college application process is incredibly daunting. The overwhelming nature of applying for college, with all of its moving parts and supplemental tasks, contributes to the seniors’ stressful environment.

“My first impression [is that] I can do it, but I don’t want to,” Hoy said.
Molly Welch, ‘22, another senior with a course load consisting mostly of AP classes, explains her main fears surrounding the process. 

Welch said her biggest fears in applying are, “that [she’ll] forget to do something and so [her] application won’t count and that [she] won’t get it done on time.” 

With the complex applications and various deadlines, it feels as if applications might easily slip through the cracks. Students could miss opportunities because of the general influx of information tossed at them on an almost daily basis. 

Hoy also shared she is afraid of “getting to the end of the process and finding out that, for whatever reason, getting into a school that I wanted to get into didn’t happen, despite the hard work I put in.” 

This is a valid fear she voices: although students may put in their best effort, rejection is a reality many will experience in the face of college decisions. However, there are plenty of available resources and websites to help navigate this confusing and overwhelming time.

“ has a lot of examples of good essays and other informative resources,” said Welch. 

Hoy also shared her most helpful resource. 

“Naviance, surprisingly,” said Hoy. “I did not think it was going to be that helpful because in the first three years of high school it seemed like a really boring place to go, but it’s actually quite helpful in my college pursuits.” 

College Initiative, another online resource, links other useful and informative resources for seniors to use. These resources include common data sets, the college navigator website run by the Department of Education, campus tours, and several others. While online tours are a valuable resource, the Initiative also recommends visiting college campuses to get a feel for the institution’s environment.

Finally, it is very important to know that, eventually, this process will come to an end. The deadlines will eventually pass. College decisions will eventually come back. And yes, many seniors will eventually go to college. As every class before the class of 2022 has, seniors will continue to persevere and get through this obnoxiously tedious process in one piece.