Seniors reflect on college apps


Photo by Sourish Dey

A display outside of the counseling office shows the colleges WJ seniors have been accepted to. Seniors have gotten into colleges all around the world.



College applications are a defining part of a senior’s journey. It is a process that spans many months and requires many hours of effort. Now that February has arrived, most seniors have submitted all of their applications.

The college application process spans over half a year with many seniors starting to work on them from the end of their junior year. Generally, it’s recommended that students get a head start on their essay the summer before senior year. Additionally, seniors may use the time to look into what schools they want to apply to as well as other college-related information.

“Throughout the summer, I worked on what schools I wanted to apply to and I started drafting my common app essay,” senior Megan Walker said.

Once the school year starts, the intensity picks up. Seniors have to finish their applications and turn in all needed forms in time for their college deadlines. The early action deadline is usually in early November, making the time available to seniors limited.

Contributing to that intensity is the academic work. While seniors are working on their college applications, they must still maintain their academic and extracurricular responsibilities. Many seniors describe a struggle in balancing that, finding little accommodation for that reality.

“I would say that, when it comes to the workload, it doesn’t really feel like they [teachers] notice that you’re seniors trying to apply to college,” senior Itay Yanay said.

There is general advice to spread out the work of college applications but the demands of school can often push that schedule back.

“A lot of it was time crunched. All of my regular decision stuff I did [over] Winter Break,” Yanay said.

Applications are generally done by early January. After that, seniors must wait to see their admission decision. That is a mix of relaxation that the applications are done and stress about whether they will get into their desired schools.

“Right before opening a decision, or the day of, if it’s a big decision, that’s definitely stressful but I think in general I try not to think about it too much,” Walker said.

The process is different for athletes who are being recruited by colleges. Their process starts much earlier and involves being reached out to by coaches from various colleges and going on in depth visits of schools. During these visits, they get a detailed look at the team they would be a part of at that college.

“With the recruiting visits that I did, I was able to meet the team and I got to practice with a couple of the teams,” senior Matti Harvey said.