A Senior’s Perspective: College Apps
by Amanda Benbow
College applications. Just hearing those two words can make any senior want to curl up into a ball and hide away until the first of May. The struggle is all too real, as is obvious from the baffling amount of seniors chatting in class, in the hallways, and during any free moment about their application process at the moment and how they all have so much to do. There are a great number, though, who are lucky enough to be completely oblivious to the strenuous college apps process, those being juniors, sophomores, and freshmen. To the underclassmen wondering what could be in store for them in the coming years, prepare to be illuminated, for this is how most seniors at CCA are feeling at this point in the process.
A word I cannot emphasize enough at the moment is, unshockingly, stress. In most cases, the earliest deadline we have is roughly a month away from today, which seems like more than enough time to get everything done, but boy, are you wrong. Seniors everywhere are scrambling to understand what exactly a “FERPA” is, and what effect it has on their ability to acquire letters of recommendation. For those who still don’t know, it’s basically something you have to give to your teachers in order to get a letter of recommendation from them. It’s pretty important. Brag packets are a hot topic of discussion as well. It seems that no senior has the ability to talk about themselves in a positive way, so the self-written letter of recommendation portion on said packet is still ominously blank. Nobody really knows what two or three words best describe them, either, and it shows as students wander around, polling their classmates on their thoughts on the matter. Not to mention the several essays that applicants undoubtedly have to write, so many of which still have no response written. There are the four required for UC's, the one big one for the Common App, and the seemingly hundreds of supplemental prompts required by individual colleges, because they feel the need to be “special” and stand out among the other schools on the Common App by asking “Why are you applying to us?” It’s completely overwhelming, and, dare I say, unnecessary.
It’s still very early in the application process, and many gruesome steps still await seniors, an example being the dreaded wait for admissions decisions to come out, which will surely cause even more worry among applicants. So if it seems like seniors are a bit moody or irritable at the moment, it’s probably not because you’re an annoying freshman—although that could be a factor. It’s mostly because of the pains we’re experiencing as college applicants, so go easy on us. And don’t worry, you’ll know just what we’re talking about in a few years.