HPHS Media

Chaos of College Applications

Seniors are now in the full swing of applying to colleges

Molly Scheffler, Editor-in-Chief

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College and its applications can be a scary process. Highland Park seniors must balance school work, social life, sports and clubs, all while trying to decide where they want to spend the next four years of their lives. But before they can live and study there, they must get through the tedious process of applying to college.

The college application process can be very tedious because there are multiple types of applications, such as ApplyTexas or the Common Application. There are also multiple types of admission – such as rolling admission or early binding action – and many different pieces for submission, such as teacher recommendations and essays. Seniors must research colleges and all the specific requirements for each one to give themselves the best chance at being accepted.  The majority of applications are due Dec. 1, which makes the first semester stressful for seniors than the second semester, which can be less difficult and time-consuming because seniors usually do not have the looming deadlines of college applications on their minds.    

For some seniors the hardest part of the process is finding enough time in their already busy  schedules to complete these thorough applications.

“I think finding enough time to be focused and sit there and crank out essays [is the most difficult part of the application process],” senior Val McWilliams said. “Go through everything and organize yourself and create a checklist to get everything done.”

Seniors must also have organizational skills in order to stay on-track with applications and not forget certain pieces of the applications. Some parents aid their child tremendously in their college process especially in Highland Park.

“I’ve sent [my parents] essays that I’ve liked, so they can edit them and pick up on things I haven’t been able to pick up on and review them,” McWilliams said.

On the other hand, senior Maddie Fagan’s parents have helped her in a limited amount.

“My mom is doing the parent information sheet on common app, but other than that, I’m pretty much on my own,” Fagan said.

But Fagan did mention how she copes with the stress of college applications – by talking it out with her family and friends. Which means that while her parents have not helped directly with the application, they have helped to keep her stress and anxiety  low throughout the process.

Overall, college applications can be a scary thing. Students can be stressed and some will need help, but once it is over, a large weight lifted off seniors’ shoulders.

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