A monumental milestone happens when students step off that stage at graduation with their diploma. For most, their next step will be on a college campus, huge or compact, but definitely overwhelming.
Although college isn’t the only path, students spend an immense amount of their high school career trying to decide where they see themselves going, what they’ll want to do and how they’ll get there. However, some students have career goals where their next step has to be college. Because they are pursuing college, they have to endure the process of applying.
“College is, personally, my only option after graduation because of the career I want to go into. I can’t really be a doctor without going to college or medical school. I’m applying to around ten schools just to have some safety’s and reach, also a few early medicine programs since I know that’s what I want to do,” senior Jhanvi Garg said.
If the college participates in the Common Application, applicants send in 650 words that are supposed to represent their whole life. This small word count determines someone’s future.
“I’ve written around 10 to 15 essays. I haven’t counted them out exactly but it’s a lot. It’s a ton of work on top of the other school work we have. The deadlines come up so fast and the amount of work and perfection it all requires is crazy. These applications basically are the build up of our four years of high school and that’s scary,” Garg said.
Students have different ways to deal with the stress of determining their future. A good way to deal with the stress is to get prepared earlier on by setting earlier personal deadlines and goals. It will help them stay ahead so they don’t have to make last minute changes.
“The better organized and planned a student is, the less stress they may encounter. while the application process can be intimidating and daunting, we’ve found that those that have been well planned tend to manage the process in a less-stressful way,” guidance counselor Stephen Gunther said.
Starting their junior year, students should start thinking about where to apply. The guidance counselors encourage students to attend college visits, begin making relationships with admissions counselors and start to narrow down their search for the perfect fit.
“My advice to the junior class is to start thinking about it now, you’re applying before you know it and you really want have a sense of where you want to go and also a good foundational GPA. Don’t slack off during high school because colleges look at everything. I wish I started learning to write college essays before my senior year because they’re a completely different style of writing than what we do in most of our English classes,” Garg said.