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The Campus Lantern

The Campus Lantern

The Campus Lantern

From November to December seniors’ college anxiety soars

Outside the College Counseling Office, this board is decorated with t-shirts that celebrate the acceptance of SCH seniors. It’s a reminder of success and a source of stress for seniors awaiting acceptance because everyone wants to put a gold star on the board. Mr. Walter said, “the hardest part of the process is waiting.”

Late September marks the end of the first quarter of the school year. This moment should be a celebratory landmark for the senior class. The grades colleges will see have been sent and just maybe the raucous anxiety that characterized September and October can simmer down.
Maybe now, since applications are in, the senior class can breathe and relax. Maybe the test you took will not mean as much. Maybe you will not stay up past midnight doing homework. Maybe you will not be reduced to tears over a bad quiz grade that you convinced yourself determines your future. With the end of the first quarter comes a moment to breathe, but also a new era of anxiety, fear and anticipation.
Submitting an application wins the battle, yet, waiting without anxiety for a decision is winning the war. The truth is, that this period of time after an application is submitted is riddled with an intense fear of the unknown.
When at a loss for words in conversation, it’s the ignition. “Do you know where you want to go to school?” “Have you applied?” “What do you want to study?” These questions repeat on a loop as seniors limp to a November finish line. By November 15th, the exhaustion and burnout are tangible, but the mental battle is far from over.
Undoubtedly, the first half of any school year is dedicated to college admissions for a senior class. Once early action and early decision applications are submitted then comes the waiting period of about a month before decisions are released.
There are days during this waiting period where confidence is easy and there are others where anxiety rears its ugly head. As SCH senior Aanika said, “I try to be hopeful and recognize that whatever happens happens for the best, or at least there’s a reason, but I’m definitely anxious knowing that mid December is coming and that’s when I hear back.”
“I think that in a post-Covid world there’s a lot more anxiety surrounding the college process. I mean, your cohort had their worlds turned upside down when you were in like what? Eighth grade. So I’d definitely say that part of the anxiety is what if the rug is pulled out from under me and no matter how good of an applicant I think I am, I just don’t get in anywhere I want to go. There’s an all or nothing mentality that exists more so than it ever has in the past,” said Miriam Peskowitz, the author’s mom.

You are going to get into college. You are going to go to college. And it will be great.

— Ms. O

Over 90 percent of SCH’s class of 2024 applied to school(s) of their choice either early action or early decision.
Director of College Counseling, Brian Walter, said “I think there’s an automatic anxiety that goes with the college process. Three plus years of high school are coming down to this and it’s really hard to just have to wait for decisions. So much of high school was something you had control over, so knowing that there’s a loss of control is really hard for students.”
It’s hard just simply not knowing what the future holds. This sentiment rings true in the college admissions season and the truth is, we are all in the trenches and there is not much that can soothe the nerves of seniors whose futures feel up in the air.
However stressful the waiting is, it’s important to remember the words of SCH English teacher, Ms. O’Flanagan, “You are going to get into college. You are going to go to college. And it will be great.”

SCH Academy’s class of 2023 in May of their senior year. Every student wears a college shirt that says where they are going. Despite the intense anxiety and pressure of the college season, every graduating senior went to college. As current senior, Aanika Bhatt said “I believe things happen for a reason that I will end up where I want to be.” (SCH Academy)
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About the Contributor
Amelia Baird
Amelia Baird, Staff Writer, Editor
Amelia is a senior at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. She is a passionate reader and writer. Outside of school, she can be found spending time with her mom and cats.
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