An Inside Look at Applying to College


Brianna Noto, Staff Writer

 Senior year is described as your best, and most importantly, the most stress free year of high school. Students typically take easier classes; some students even have shorter school days, and seniors have many events to close out their last year in high school. No one really talks about the stressful process that is applying to college.

This business starts with finding the right colleges for you. It is recommended that students apply to 5 to 7 colleges; at least 1-2 reach schools, and 1-2 safety schools should be included. Students must decide if they want to stay in state, or venture out of state for college. 

Many qualities need to be taken into account when considering colleges. Some of the main items to be considered are coming home, overall cost of attending, size of classes, and majors; however, finding schools that fit your needs can be extremely frustrating. “It took me a long time to narrow down my list of colleges. I started looking during Junior year and my list was only completed at the start of this year,” senior Britney Hernandez said.

Once the right schools are found, it’s time to start applying. The deadlines must be kept in mind throughout this whole process. Transcripts and test scores should be requested to send a month before the deadline to be sure they get to the college on time. Applications should be started a month before the deadline as well, possibly sooner depending on the length.  As simple as this sounds, this process isn’t completed in one day. Scores and transcripts can take up to 2 weeks to send, and applications can take weeks to complete. Most applications even have an essay portion, which just prolongs the process.

Senior, McKenzie See-Holbrook says,”Going over the information that I put down in my application to make sure it was correct has been very stressful because once it is submitted, I cannot change it. Making sure that my transcripts and SAT scores are received on time is also extremely stressful.” The sending of scores is, in some ways out of the applicants control. Once transcripts and test scores are requested, it is just a waiting game. Sometimes they can take just days to send, and other times, they can take a few weeks. This is why requesting as early as possible is important.

The waiting period also causes frustration for applying students. After the application is submitted and test scores and transcripts have been sent, there is, at the very least, a few weeks until any acceptance letters are sent out. This time of uncertainty is nerve wracking. For people with anxiety, such as myself and many other students, this may be even worse than the application process. Senior, Melanie Garcia stated, “The waiting period is the worst part of the application process because at that point, there isn’t anything that I can do. I just have to wait for a decision.”

All of the students that I have interviewed have said that they don’t know how to manage their anxiety, which just causes them to worry even more. In addition, many of the students that I have interviewed have stated that their application status is constantly on their mind. Worrying is not productive, especially after all components of your application have been sent. When application stress arises, take a minute to breathe, then distract yourself with something else, like a TV show, hobby, or a phone call with a friend.

The best ways to minimize stress are to start applications early, ask for help, have your applications looked over by a teacher or parent, and to stay as positive as possible. Of course college applications are stressful, but it’s important to remember that getting into a certain college is not life or death, and there are plenty of teachers and counselors who are willing to help you here at FCHS.