Every year of high school brings increasing challenges, but Senior year reaches a climax of stress once college applications are a part of the equation.  In addition to regular coursework, extracurriculars, and senior speeches, we are all trying to figure out the next phase of our lives. Mrs. Sarah Hogan and Mr. Brian Estrada, the College Counselors and mentors, say the best way to handle this stress is to “relax, start early and plan ahead.”

It can be nerve racking for seniors to sit in college meetings with the college counselors.   There are many issues students face, such as trying to figure out how to apply to highly selective schools and financing, but “the biggest concern brought up by students is writing college essays,” Estrada notes.  Estrada says he wants to ensure “all angles are being covered” and to “identify the right range of options that match the family’s resources.” He encourages students to utilize all resources ahead of time which will help make the process easier.  Students know they have access to the help and support for the college counselors and they are there for them every step of the way.

When the time comes to start sending in your applications to colleges, it can be overwhelming and time consuming; there are many considerations, especially when trying to figure out how many is ‘too much.’  Hogan says the “average number hovers around six applications per student but we suggest a limit of 10 colleges, based on experience with prior classes and alumni feedback.” Hogan warns, “too many applications induce more stress and other applications suffer in quality.”  She recommends students narrow their prospective college choice considering what colleges offer their major and how they will fit on a college campus.

It is not only a hectic time for seniors, but for College Counselors as well.   Both Mr. Estrada and Mrs. Hogan agree, while the college application process is their passion and they love helping each individual senior, they must make sure all letters of recommendations, transcripts and other supporting documents are completed and sent in to the colleges.  In the College Counseling Center, the staff work as a team. Hogan says “the support from Mrs. Peterson is truly appreciated especially, when she offers treats on her desk!”

Don’t stress, just relax and plan ahead.  Siena Adducci ‘19 reflects, “It was stressful and time consuming, but once you hit the submit button, it all goes into perspective and you feel relieved.”  Adducci advises, “get it done with early so you can enjoy your senior year without having the burden of applications to write on top of school work.” Senior, if you have made it this far in the article, you will make it through the college application process!