Seniors: Preparing for College

Rebecca Fasano, Sports Editor

For most seniors in high school, the first semester always seems to be the most stressful time of the year.  Between writing college essays, sending in applications, and deciding the college of choice, the process is not easy. Although many associate senior year with the term “senioritis,” there is no time for slacking off just yet.

Many students begin to look at colleges throughout junior year to get an idea of what type of school they are looking for.  However, it is not until senior year that they are eligible to apply to schools. The first step of the college process is to be able to narrow down the schools that students wish to send applications to.

Once students have picked the colleges that they wish to attend, it is then time to make sure that they have a college essay that will allow the admissions office to not only accept them because of their transcripts, but to show what they have to offer to the school as a person. Writing the college essay seems to be a very stressful process for most students; many agree that it is hard to find a topic to write about that is unique and will separate them from the rest of applicants.

Alana Milazzo, senior at Westwood High School, admits that writing the perfect essay is harder than it seems. Milazzo says, “The Common App only allows you to write 500 words; it’s really hard to talk about a topic that’s supposed to be ‘important’ to you, when you are so limited with what your allowed to say.”

Lauren Turrisi, also a senior at Westwood, has found herself rewriting her college essay several times.  “Throughout the summer I had a tutor who helped me write my essay and guided me in the right direction, but it took over a month for me to complete it.  It’s not something that just can be written overnight,” says Turrisi.

Once the college essay is finished, the applications can be filled out and completed.  Luckily, many colleges accept the Common Application: a standardized, undergraduate, admission application.  Although 415 institutions take the Common App, there are some colleges that do not.  Instead, these colleges require the student to send out a separate application to that specific school, which can become a tedious process after a short amount of time.

Although sending out applications is a very important process when applying to college, letters of recommendation and the student’s transcripts are also crucial aspects. This procedure usually results the seniors to constantly nag their guidance counselors and teachers to have their letters and transcripts sent out on time.

As you can see, applying for colleges is a long process.  It requires taking the SAT and ACT tests, passing the HSPA, going on college tours, sending out applications and transcripts, asking for letters of recommendation, writing a college essay, and finally, making a decision of where to go by May 1.

For students, making a decision on where they wish to attend college is just as stressful as waiting to get accepted.  For some, it is hard to decide which college will suit them best.  Many fear that they will choose the wrong school.  Knowing that the college you pick is going to be where you spend the next four years of your life makes it a stressful decision that should be thoroughly reviewed.