With college deadlines fast approaching, students find themselves spending most of  their free time on applications

By Elise Murray ’12Photo by Vince Camillo

Throughout their last year in high school, there is one thing looming over most seniors’ heads: college applications. Like previous seniors, students are distressed about the upcoming due dates and the importance of their applications.

Although most college applications request different variations of the same general information, the sheer number of application forms and required essays can be daunting. Senior Diana Kang is one of many students currently in the middle of the college application process. In Kang’s opinion, there is a widespread feeling of stress amongst much of the senior class.

“I think that some of us, including me, have been freaking out over college applications because it is the first time for all of us,” Kang said. “There is this pressure that if you don’t do one thing right you are not going to get into a college.”

However, college counselor Mark Davis has a different view. He said that while essays are a primary part of most college applications, the most important aspect is what occurs before someone even starts their application process.

“I have never had an admission counselor tell me that the first thing that was important to them was not curriculum,” he said. Instead, he said academic performance is always the most important factor in determining admission.

“The very first thing every college is looking for is what courses did you take and how did you challenge yourself,” he said.”[However,] down the line, yes, essays will be looked at for careful consideration.”

On a college application, after filling out the normal directory information, essays are the most time-consuming portion and the reasons students find themselves holed up in their rooms for weekends and late nights.

“I feel [as if] I spend a little too much time on each application process,” Kang said. “Every person differs [in their time spent]. If you are happy with spending every minute of your life on a college application, I say go for it; however, most people do not want college applications to consume their lives.”

For people who find themselves stressing out over the essays, the application process in general or spending more time than necessary on it, there is a simple solution. According to Davis and Kang, all it takes is a time management schedule and an adult to talk with through the process.

“I think it is a matter of analyzing all your applications, establishing when the due dates are, and coming up with a plan that is reasonable and accomplishable,” Davis said. “Students need to explore their options.”

Whether it is the approaching due dates or the fear of not completing an essay to the college’s standards that is causing a student’s anxiety or fear, Kang and Davis believe there is always a solution to help solve both the problem and the freak-outs. •