College Application Stress


Tessa Keeney (12) poses with a picture of her dream college.

As the seasons begins to change from fall into winter, a season is also begin for many seniors at AHS: College Application Season. The daunting process of writing college essays, requesting letters of recommendation and formulating lists of extracurriculars has begun as application deadlines loom over seniors heads. Ms. Chappel, a senior english teacher, said, “I can’t stress the importance of deadlines. It puts a lot of stress on the students but you have to meet the deadline or else”. It is often a very stressful time for seniors as they begin to face the transition out of high school and into adulthood. An article published by the New York Times outlines the stresses that college applications can have on students: Students complain about lack of sleep, stomach pain and headaches, but doctors and educators also worry that stress tied to academic achievement can lead to depression, eating disorders and other mental health problems” (Pope). The stress can become overwhelming as the pressure builds for students.  

Senior, Amanda Davis (12), is currently in the process of compiling all the information for her applications. The University of Washington is Davis’s top choice she explains, “I really want to go to UW because it is in Seattle. I don’t want to go to a private college, and UW is the only public university in Seattle.” Davis prefers a public university over a private because they are typically bigger schools and have more programs to offer their students. As November 15th, University of Washington’s deadline approaches, Davis and many other students are feeling the stress. Davis said, “Every time I look at college stuff I get really overwhelmed because it is all lot.” Many other students share the same feelings as Davis during this season of stress.

Tessa Keeney, (12) empathizes with Davis as she completes the elements of her applications as well. Over the weekend Keeney traveled to Seattle for an interview with an alumni of Harvard University as the final step of her application. She explains, “The interview was the most stressful day in my entire life. The whole build up to the interview was so stressful, but once I started talking I was finally able to relax.” Keeney came out of the interview feeling very confident about her application and awaits her decision letter until December 15th. 

The stress of applying to college has become a right of passage for many students; just like going to senior prom or football games. Although senior year can be a stressful time, no matter what a students plans are after high school, it is important to enjoy the limited time left.