A never-ending application

Schools need to be more understanding of seniors during college application season Photo Caption:

It is vital for HHS to support seniors during the stressful college application season. (Illustration by Lia Klebanov)

As a generation of procrastinators, we are often told how many of our problems can become stress-free if we are proactive. Normally, I would not disagree, but when it comes to college applications, they may not be right.                                                                          

College application season is filled with writing essays on top of keeping up with schoolwork, which is exhausting. Working on these applications the summer before senior year is a good solution to the problem, but is not always feasible. As adolescents, we are constantly changing and having new life experiences that affect the way we see the world.

I am not the same person now as I was in July. During the previous summer, I traveled to visit my family in Israel and immersed myself in a diverse culture, which changed my perspective on my future career path. Before, I was interested solely in the humanities, but observing aquatic organisms, such as jellyfish, in the Mediterranean Sea sparked an interest in biology as well. Many vacation adventures were embedded in my essays and added twists to my overall life story. 

Additionally, students should not be burdened by college applications, as the break was an important time for me to regenerate my “battery.” Having just finished junior year – one of the hardest times in high school – spending time with friends and going to the beach were the perfect remedies for my post-stress fever. Designating small periods of time to certain applications while making sure there is ample unwinding time, seniors can reflect on previous years and write impactful stories with mature perspectives. Consequently, this will prevent burnout and ensure students have an easier time managing their stress during the school year.

In order to prepare for independence, having a summer job is an influential life experience that allows students to save money for college while learning important life lessons. The U.S. labor force grew by 12.9% in 2022 from the months of April to July largely due to high schoolers becoming employed, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. With only 24 hours in a day and being on a strict working schedule, the opportunity to focus on other tasks during summer is limited. 

Having approximately two and a half months before Early Action deadlines and around three months until California public school deadlines, a majority of the work needs to be completed during the school year. 

Teachers should be lenient in their deadlines leading up to final submission dates and approach students who are truly struggling during the first semester of senior year. No student should have three tests and five assignments all due at the moment their future is being decided and having trusted adults that are rooting for our success can make a large difference. Feeling supported during this hectic process is the motivation for us, seniors, to press the submit button and start our adulthood journeys.