College applications leave students stressed, anxious


Photo by Sean Snyder

Senior Prahlad Shelvapille works on his college applications as the November deadline approaches.

As high school seniors around the country plan their next step in life, they may turn to the college application process. College applications, generally taking place in the fall of senior year, require students to fill out countless applications, essays and surveys to distinguish themselves from others. This process seems like an amazing opportunity, but in reality, it causes students stress and anxiety.

The first part of college applications that causes students stress is the heavy workload. The majority of students, already having to participate and perform well in seven classes, must now complete additional work on top of what they already get each night. This additional workload cuts into students’ free time that they could be using to decompress from the long school day. “This process has been a challenge for me, especially during the beginning of school, as I had to learn how to balance my senior year classes with my college applications. This definitely took a lot of getting used to as I must work twice as hard to get all of my work done,” senior Tyler Cosgrove said.

In addition to the massive workload that students must endure, students must also attend events for their school of choice, taking more time out of their day. Students must show “demonstrated interest” to be seriously considered for admission at some universities. Students attend information sessions, go to college campuses and send countless emails to admissions offices to show their interest. “For one of my colleges, showing applied interest was very important, making the process so much more stressful. I had to attend countless informational sessions during school hours causing me to miss instruction and only add to the work that I had to do,” senior Luke Danielian said.

Students can choose from three main options when applying to colleges: regular decision, early decision and early action. With each of these options comes its own benefits and drawbacks, from having to write and submit applications earlier to signing binding contracts to a school, requiring a student to attend if they are admitted. This makes the choice that much more difficult as students must endure another level of stress when applying to colleges. This system has flaws as high school students are only children and may not have the ability to decide what is best for them. “I thought it was challenging to figure out which school I wanted to apply ED (early decision), EA (early action) and RD (regular decision) for. It caused me a lot of stress because I knew if I applied ED anywhere, I would be forced to attend that college,” senior Max Mirsky said.