Anxiety over college sticks with seniors through admissions

The process of applying can be very stressful for students as they navigate their entrance into the adult world. But while the process can be difficult, decision time might be worse.


By submitting application after application in hopes of getting into college, high school seniors experience their first taste of the adult world during the first half of senior year.
Every student will experience the college application process differently, according to senior Oisin Carolan.
“I know for me, I’m applying to schools for art, meaning I have separate portfolio requirements and stuff that most other students don’t have,” Carolan said.
Some applications require additional supplements depending on what major or program one is trying to get into.
This can add to applicant stress, according to senior Devesh Bungatavula.
“I’m applying for programs that let me into undergraduate and then admissions into medical programs,” Bungatavula said. “Most of them have extra essays on why I chose this school and why I’m choosing to be a doctor, and the extra work is a lot.”
Senior Joey Depolo found the process “tedious and meticulous.”
“There were so many little pieces that went into each application. The hardest part was just getting started,” Depolo said.
As an art student, Carolan has had to submit multiple portfolios on top of supplemental essays and other needed questions.
“I’ve had to submit a lot of my art to these schools, but I need so much time to make sure that it’s really good. I need the schools to like it, so a lot of my time has been dedicated to artwork recently,” Carolan said.
Though the process is different for everyone, a lot of students find it stressful.
“I think one word I’d use to describe [the college admissions process] would be stressful,” senior Clara Connolly said. “I definitely rushed it a little bit, and if I could go back and do it again, I’d submit everything earlier.”
Carolan believes applying to college can feel like “a whole class added on top of regular schoolwork.”
“I found it really hard to juggle applications with my classwork, artwork and my job,” Carolan said. “I feel like sometimes people don’t realize how difficult it can be.”
Depolo thinks that there is little help provided right away when it comes to doing “college stuff.”
“My parents helped some, but I really had to figure it out on my own, Depolo said. “I feel like everyone’s expected to just kinda know how to do it, and we don’t get taught too much about the actual process.”
Contrary to this opinion, some found the application process simple.
Senior Makirra Aquino found the process “pretty quick and relatively easy” to get through.
“Because I’m likely going to either community college or Kutztown, I didn’t have too much work to do after my Common App,” Aquino said.
While the process itself has proven stressful to many, some believe that decisions are “10 times worse.”
First acceptances or even rejections can make or break how students feel about entering the postsecondary chapter of their lives.
“When I was first accepted to UPitt, I felt pretty relieved,” Depolo said. “At least I know I’m definitely going to college.”
Carolan is “very nervous” for when his decisions start to roll out.
“I have several backups, but it’ll definitely be rough if I don’t get into my top choices,” Carolan said. “It will probably feel like the world is ending.”
Aquino believes that it is harder for people going to bigger schools that are farther away.
“I found out pretty quickly when I got accepted, so having to wait that long is probably very difficult,” Aquino said.