College application off-season

The beginning of senior year can be a balancing act between college applications and school. After January and February, applying to colleges is completed. College decisions are starting to roll in, or are looming close by. The remaining decisions are usually released in March and April. Now with extra downtime, seniors are able to reflect on the process.

“Once I started and organized my essays, everything flowed really smoothly, and it was really straightforward with uploading,” senior Shichi Dhar said. “I think part of the lack of stress was because I applied to a few colleges that I really cared about, instead of applying to all the top colleges. Balancing and prioritizing definitely made me less stressed.”

All seniors are in different stages of the college application season. Some are waiting for their decisions, while others have known for some time where they plan to attend. It all comes down to which schools they applied for and when the college will make a decision. Seniors can work on personal skills when applying to colleges, which can be unnoticeable to the individuals. But it appears in other aspects of life, such as school or other activities. During this time, seniors can explore their interests and prioritize.

“I’m trying to focus on myself,” Dhar said. “I try to stress less about homework and school. I used to want everything to be perfect, but now I want to focus more on myself instead of my grades and everything else that I’ve been trained to focus on.”

Seniors still have around one semester left of high school. Final transcripts must be sent to colleges soon. With future education plans made, senioritis might arise. Senioritis levels depend on each senior’s schedule and the class difficulty that follows it. 

Seniors can also learn more about themselves through the college application process. This is through the essays they have to write, the activities they do with downtime, and working on things outside of school.

“It has made me more confident,” Dhar said. “It shows you that you’re a well-rounded person. The colleges like you, not because of your grade, but because of your writing and your personality that shines through.”

The college application season can allow seniors to reflect on high school experiences and anticipate their next four years. It opens students up to the world around them, and helps them learn about others from different cities, cultures, and backgrounds.

“You’re a part of a larger community that you never knew about,” Dhar said. “It makes me more excited for the future and what it holds for me.”

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Audrey Xu

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