Senior Stress and College Chaos

The application process can be daunting to senior students, but there are ways to combat this stress.


Kathryn Harding

A student navigates the college application process.

Kathryn Harding, Staff Writer

As seniors begin to focus on future endeavors, the stress of the college application process becomes more apparent. 

According to The Atlantic, “Over the past two decades, the number of applications submitted to colleges has increased more than 150 percent, even as the size of high-school graduating classes has remained fairly stable.”

This growth could be due to the often competitive nature of college acceptance.

According to College Admission Strategies, “Stanford reject[s] almost 96 percent of its applicants and a large percentage of them have perfect SAT or ACT scores.”

These statistics are daunting, especially to senior Sahara Pandit. 

“[The application] required basic information like all the classes I took in high school, how many were honors or AP, extracurriculars, awards and honors,” Pandit said. “They also required 4 short essay questions.”

Not only is the list of classes and honors important, but which school you apply to is also very crucial in students’ eyes.

“I applied… to about 3 safety schools, 3 targets, and 2 reach because I want to have multiple options,” Pandit said. “[I wanted to] aim for realistic schools, but also put in the effort for more selective schools.”

Pandit is not the only student who applied to several different colleges.

According to The Washington Post, “[In 2015] seniors… applied to, on average, 45 colleges each…”

Pandit has some thoughts for underclassmen, however, to help them combat the stress of college applications.

“If you’re an underclassman I’d recommend you prioritize your grades, get involved in things you’re actually interested in… and expand your horizons by doing something out of your comfort zone,” Pandit says.

Whether you’re an upperclassman or an underclassman, you can guarantee that the transition to college will come with a lot of stress. But you can also guarantee that, like the students before you, you will survive. And more than that, you will thrive.