College Stress Overwhelms Seniors

College Stress Overwhelms Seniors

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A senior works on his college applications in his Common Application account. | by Dakota Antelman

by Bianca Chaves

Seniors simply have too much work and not enough time to do it.

For many students who are applying to over five schools, the multiple college essays to write and test scores to send require a great deal of time and effort. All this time working on school work and college applications adds up to a lot of stress for the seniors.

For seniors like Sam Pinto, this is hard to organize. “It’s a lot of whenever I find free time,” Pinto says. “I am always trying to not procrastinate and get it done.”

Pinto is applying to five colleges, varying from state schools to private universities. On top of that, Pinto is in all honors and AP classes, a member of the cross country team, and an employee at McDonald’s. “Per week,” Pinto explains, “I probably work on college stuff for like 3-4 hours.”

English teacher Amy Vessels thinks, however, that students need to start sooner on the revision of their college essay, since many students need to write 3 or 4 drafts before it is ready. She feels that most students are not used to spending that much time on revision, so they often do not leave enough time for that process.

Though students are given a month to work on college essays in class, it is often not enough. They have to find time to work on their essays outside of class, meeting with teachers after school and completing many drafts.

English teacher Elizabeth Albota said that the college application time should be a time where students should work harder and spend more time on school work.  

Albota also says that once college application time is over, the students will have less stress and more free time, so they should sacrifice a few months so they can have a promising future.

That sacrifice is biggest for those who apply to the most colleges. Senior Leah Bonner is applying to 13 colleges, mostly consisting of state schools. Stress can also come from sports and extracurricular activities, which makes college work and school work hard to get done.

Her application deadlines are spread out, but she still has sports, school work and clubs to keep up with. Bonner has two jobs, she plays golf, she is president of the ski club, and she’s in spirit committee and junior boosters.

Senior Clem Doucette is applying to 14 colleges. He finds time to work on college applications either on nights when he doesn’t have a lot of homework or on Sunday mornings.

Doucette is in Hud-TV. He spends around two hours a day at the studio after school, and sometimes Doucette finds time to work on college applications and essays there. “There’s a lot of down time and lots of computers, so it’s easy to get work done there.”

Doucette has written 14 college essays and had between three to four drafts for most essays. For the common app essay he wrote around eight or nine drafts.

Before Doucette received his ACT test scores in early November, he was worried how his scores compared to the students who were accepted to the Ivy League schools.

In addition to the essays and test scores, students also face the financial stress of applying. Doucette explains that application fees can be as much as $70, with most of his being $70.

Stress is affecting the seniors and their school work. “It’s basically constantly working,” Pinto explains, “like balancing it with sports and McDonald’s and school, so yeah I don’t have much down time basically.”  

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