College Applications

College Applications

College Stress and College Success

Jason Pauli

With senior year comes harder classes, more freedoms, and more fun. This also comes with stress, potentially the biggest stress students will ever have to go through. The college application process is one of the most stress inducing, nail biting, tear jerking events in a student’s life. Students are overwhelmed by the difficulties of finding the right school, getting teacher letters of recommendations, filling out the common application, filling out scholarship information, trying to get money from the government and all while trying to maintain a high grade point average, continue with after school activities and of course, trying to have a social life on top of it. After that comes the waiting period, “Will they accept me or not?” We asked students of West Bloomfield High School about their college application process.

“I started filling out applications the day the common app came out” says Ginger Isenberg “The process was pretty easy other than the essays.” Others such as WBHS grad and current freshman at Oakland University, Brian Baylor, much prefer the essay; Baylor said “it was easier to write about why I choose to express myself through performance.” The process of applying to colleges can be difficult to manage for some seniors like Claudia Kassouf who claimed, “It was rough. Balancing school work, extracurricular activities, and college apps was a challenge.”

Another issue to tackle with the application process is the essay. This is where a student can really let the college know who he or she is, but therein lies the issue for most students. How can one let a college know who they are and why they would be a good fit for a school in five hundred words or less? “Essays are irritating” says Ginger Isenberg. Ginger applied to Grand Valley, Central, U of M Dearborn, MSU, U of M Ann Arbor, and Purdue and has already been accepted to all of them with the exception of U of M, Ann Arbor and Purdue whom she is still waiting to hear from. Other seniors like Robbie Pluta would agree with her saying that his biggest stress was getting all of his essays done. Robbie has applied and been accepted to Columbia College of Chicago and is waiting to hear from U of M.

Another issue students face is picking a major. For some it was easy such as Brian Baylor who knew he wanted to get into theater, because it was his passion and his drive. Robbie Pluta is another senior who knows where his future lies. “I want to go into film. Producing is what I love and I can’t see myself doing anything else,” says Baylor. Still, most students don’t think they should have to make the decision on what they have to do with the rest of their lives so early. “This social expectation of me knowing my major is absurd,” says Claudia.

We asked former seniors what advice they would give current seniors on their college application process. “My advice to anyone is apply early,” says Joe Kuppe “if you don’t hear back, keep in contact with a college rep.” “Pace yourselves!” says Brian Baylor, “just be sure of how much you can handle at one time, and that’s not just referring to college apps. It’s not going to be easy to give due attention to all homework, relationships, extracurricular activities, job scheduling, or anything. So it’s that much more important to take a moment and make conscientious decisions about what you can and cannot commit to at that moment. Two things will help with this: First, let your family and close friends in on what you’re feeling and thinking, because they really can help you. Second, RELAX! I don’t mean sleep necessarily, because unfortunately seniors won’t always be able to get as much as they need. But take time to get away from it all and indulge in whatever makes you calm, even if that means doing nothing. Senior year can be tough for some, but it is possible to stay sane and have possibly the best year of your high school life.”