The Common Apprehension

Updated: Oct 25, 2019

by SOPHIE GORECKI - Seniors discuss ways to cope with pressure related to college applications.


WESTFIELD, Ind. (Sep. 2019) - College application season is looming over the class of 2020, and with applications, essays and standardized testing, it can get a little overwhelming. There are so many college choices--big or small, in or out of state, private or public--and it is up to seniors not only to make those decisions, but also to get accepted into these often selective colleges.


Along with applying and choosing a college come the typical stresses of being a student: essays, assignments and studying. It proves to be difficult to find a balance between homework and college application deadlines that are farther away.


“The hardest part is being motivated, because you know you have to do it and you know there’s these deadlines that are so far away, so you just don’t want to do it,” Elizabeth Cooper (12) said. “You have to start early or else you’ll have no time to do applications.”


According to a survey of the class of 2020, WHS Seniors apply to an average of 4.47 colleges, and these applications are both high-stakes and time-consuming. It can be tempting to wait until close to the due date to complete these applications, but rushing can lead to a weaker application.


“If you do everything at once there will be too much pressure, and you can make a simple mistake from doing it all at once,” Jeffrey Fox (12) said.


Time management is key to being a successful student, and some seniors find that the best way to maintain a balance between school work and college apps is to start early and break up the work over a longer period of time.


“Take it one day at a time,” Maggie Senter (12) said. “Don’t try to do everything at once because that gets really overwhelming. If you’re filling out the Common App or writing essays, do a little bit every day.”


Along with applications comes the stress of where to apply -- and eventually where to enroll. There are many factors to consider when applying to college: location, price, prestige and class size. Weighing all of the pros and cons to find the perfect college piles on even more pressure for many seniors.


“I think finding a college is the hardest because there are so many options and choices,” Senter said. “It can be hard to find the best fit for you when you don’t really know what you want yet.”


Deciding on a college is overwhelming for most, but guidance counselors like Mrs. Christy Ulsas are always there to steer students in the right direction with their experience and expertise.


“There is a lot to consider when looking at colleges and what colleges are going to be a good fit for you,” Mrs. Ulsas said. “I highly suggest that students get on college campuses to get an idea of what is going to be a good fit for them.”


No matter where they are applying, students can find comfort in the fact that although things are stressful in the moment, in the end everything will be okay.


“Take a deep breath, relax--it will all work out,” Mrs. Ulsas said. “There is a college out there for everyone, and you’re going to get in somewhere and you’re going to be just fine.”

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