Preparing for the College Process

Artina Krkuti

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I may be a junior and I know I’m only just getting started with the “college process”, but I know some seniors and they’ve told me all about the college application process, and to be honest, I’m quite nervous for it. They tell me how anxious they are waiting for their responses still, while some already received theirs and are committed to their school or how hard taking some of the tests are and all the stress along with the applications.

Applying to college is a long, hard process: writing the essays, sending in SAT or ACT scores, worrying if your grades are high enough. I’m on the path to that, taking my SATs now, and studying hard to get high grades. It’s difficult, but the reward is all worth it, whether it’s getting into your dream school or being able to get a scholarship to the school you want to go to.

Many juniors are starting to go visit colleges to prepare for next year. I know, for me I’ve visited a few colleges, Columbia and Stony Brook, my two top schools I want to attend. I’ve learned quite a bit about the application process, and to be perfectly honest, I’m quite worried. The main part I’m worried about is my grades and actually getting in because I have a unique story, but that will be saved for another day. I’m planning on visiting more during Spring Break and over the summer. Also, many have gone during our President’s Week break and are also going over spring break as well. Getting your grades to be the best you can have is hard; it takes a lot of work and long nights slaving over your books, and trust me when I say I know.

Additionally, the SAT and ACT are coming up, and preparing is harder than ever on top of whatever work we have already. My friends and I have talked about applying to college next year and what is exciting about it and what is something we are worried about. Some of my friends said that they are “most nervous for the essays because of how it can determine your path” and also “the fact that you might make the wrong choice in terms of where to go and what to do.” I agree with that; personally, the essay and my grades are something I am very worried about sending in. However, I am also excited for the anticipation after receiving my acceptances and choosing what school I want to go to. Friends of mine say that “the new freedom and opportunities we will get in college and after making that decision is something [we are] looking forward to. Also, exploring new places, new communities, meeting new people and seeing different environments that are not a high school classroom is something that [we] keep in the back of [our heads] during this stressful time.”

Even guidance counselors have similar thoughts on the application process and the anxiety students do get when they are going through this lengthy procedure. Mrs. Kratzer says that “staying organized while going through each part of the application and writing the essay is the hardest part. It takes a long time and is very worrying to many students. Also, I think that figuring out where you are going to apply is something that is difficult during this process.”

In the eyes of senior Amanda Gundel, the application process is very tedious and there are many parts to worry about such as the grades, essays and the SAT scores. It’s a lot to handle, especially once you get accepted and the finances are also something to worry about. But, she says, getting into her top school, she felt accomplished and proud and that all of the work paid off.

Rachel Martorana says, “I was happy that I got into schools and I was surprised by the scholarships I earned. It made my hard work feel worthwhile.” Many other seniors can relate to these thoughts, after four years of dedication and hard work every day throughout high school. Seeing all the work pay off is rewarding and makes you feel proud, which everyone who worked hard should feel.

Although college is stressful, I am truly looking forward to the part where it is all over and all I have to focus on is choosing which school to go to and how many months are left until the end of high school. The reward in the end is all worth it, whether it be getting to your top school or your reach schools. Seeing all that hard work you did during your past years paying off is the true reward: you are able to see what you are capable of and that everything you worked for has actually helped shape you and your future.

Ithaca College on a cloudy day. Photo by: Casey Fahrer.