A balancing act: work for the present and the future

This time of year, seniors are trying to find equilibrium as they are bombarded with work for current classes and for college applications

Hannah Boone, Online Editor-In-Chief

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As students attempt to hone in and focus for their final year of high school, they have an additional stressor added into the equation: college applications. Factor in senioritis, and there’s a serious problem. Motivation is running low and stress is running high.

“Sometimes I get stressed out just because I feel like all the deadlines for classes fall on the same day,” said senior Matthew Mottesheard. “I’m definitely not motivated to go to school.”

If students are attempting to apply early action or decision, their applications are due around mid-October. This means that time to perfect their essays and double check their information is dwindling. Even if the colleges they are applying to use the Common Application, a program that allows the student to send one general application to multiple colleges, most require supplemental short answers or essays.

The question becomes, how do seniors balance the strenuous demands of colleges with the continuous pressure of high school? Is there a happy medium between ignoring one or the other?

While there is no formula that guarantees the application process will be a breeze and teachers will magically stop assigning homework, ways exist to make things less difficult. The Common App is one of these.

This application lays out the different steps of applying very simply. After each section is filled out, the label for that area is checked off so the student can see what is fully completed and what they need to return to later. The student can add colleges to their profile, which supplies them with a complete list of due dates, requirements, and optional application supplements.

When a student uses the Common App, it shortens the amount of time necessary to fill out applications, considering only one is being filled out instead of an individual application for each university. This resource helps tremendously in balancing time spent on applications and time spent on homework.

“The Common App helps a lot,” said senior Sanjana Venkittu. “The only issue is that not all colleges are on it.”

Pacing oneself is a good idea as well. Trying to do entire applications in a week or a few days is not the best way to handle the situation. Doing small bits of the application every day or every weekend can make the load much more manageable, even with homework factored in.

Seniors are bracing themselves and waiting anxiously for the storm of applications to pass. For most, the stress will not fully be gone until they are accepted to at least one university.

At least one lucky student has escaped the stress already. Ismael Valdez has been accepted to Wake Forest University. He applied early decision, which means that he is guaranteed to attend the college in the fall.

“I feel phenomenal,” Valdez said. “Beyond the fact that it’s only mid-September and I know that I’m going to college, it’s the school of my dreams.”

Those feelings can soon be shared by the rest of the Reagan senior population, if only they buckle down and get those applications in. Peace and contentment await on the other side. The hard part is making it there.

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