Seniors stress over college


Myah Lear

So much work Seniors Connor George and Mia DeStefano stress over school. Some seniors this year are under great stress when it comes to school and what they are doing in the years after school.

Myah Lear, Reporter

Some seniors this year are stressed about figuring out what they want to pursue after high school. Some of them are looking towards attending college after high school to further their education. This is something that can cause great stress among certain students on top of their other school requirements.

Some students find great stress when preparing for and taking the SATs.

“… I think for any student just knowing that’s something that the school is going to look at to determine whether or not you’re accepted causes a bit of stress…,” school counselor Bridget Rogan said. “It’s broken pretty much into math and reading. If a student is stronger in one than the other one, the other one may cause them a little bit of stress… To combat that stress, I very heavily recommend the College Board website. There is information through them for the Khan Academy and they do review questions. They will kind of work through things like say on the math how to solve a problem… The College Board website also has practice tests so that way you can kind of see how it is that you’re doing.”

For some students, stress may be caused because of funding; not every student has the money to be able to take the test.

“If they are a free or reduced lunch student, they would be eligible for a fee waiver…,” Rogan said. “It’s only up to two so we recommend if there’s someone who thinks that they will probably use both of them, make sure you kind of spread out when you would test so that way you can get your scores back from the first one and see where you may need improvement before taking it the second time because they won’t be able to get another one [waiver]. If they do need that, they just need to talk with their school counselor.”

COVID-19 is another thing that may play heavily in the stress that some seniors are feeling in regards to college.

“I think one of the biggest things with COVID-19 is virtual learning. A lot of students struggled… ,” Rogan said. “In connection with college, I think that a lot of students may feel that one of their academic years was a little bit lower than what they would want to have on the transcript for college. Colleges are very aware of COVID-19. The people in admissions are probably taking that into account.”

There are other issues that COVID-19 has brought up for college bound students.

“Some of the colleges I would like to tour don’t offer in person tours right now,” senior Charlotte Boyle said.

Other students have run into different problems when it comes to COVID-19 and how that would impact their actual college life that they may have to take on next year.

“Dorms are a big thing. Not knowing how dorms are going to be. If I’m in a room with someone I don’t know… having certain numbers of people in a class, and just being able to do different things like clinicals,” senior Caitlin Harshberger said. “I want to be able to go into the medical field, just having clinicals and stuff is going to be hard and going to different places.”

Before a student even applies to college, they may have concerns about keeping up with their classes.

“They have to make sure they have their academics here in good standing, so they’re making sure that all of their grades are where they need to be as well as applying,” Rogan said.

College visits can cause stress on students because they might not know how to go about visiting colleges during the school day.

“I would expect that the thing would be just scheduling them,” Rogan said. “When they go on a college visit and it’s during the school day, they will go to the college and the school will just need to sign something saying that they were on the visit. A lot of times if a school is having an open house, there’s an office that’s running that students can go to and say that they need a pass. They have a pre typed thing that they’ll just insert the student’s name into and print it out … They would just schedule with the university if the university requires scheduling and then they go on the tour, and then they just make sure that they bring back something with the school’s letterhead saying that they were there that day.”

Students who don’t already drive have to try and figure out how to get to a college.

“I would say another stressor would be transportation,” Rogan said. “Obviously a school like Saint Francis is pretty close; however, somewhere like Cal U is going to be a couple hours away, so that may take parent involvement to be able to drive them there and those sorts of things that may cause more of a stress.”

Transcripts are necessary as application dats come closer.

“If a student needs a transcript, all they have to do is let their counselor know and then their counselor will send one for them,” Rogan said. “I have a lot of students that email me about that so that’s pretty quick and easy.”

Seniors are talking about the future.

“For me, it would be choosing what I want to major in because there’s so many more options than you get in high school,” senior Andre Dokes said.

Colleges publish application criteria.

“It causes me stress by not feeling like I have enough time for everything, just thinking about steps ahead and what I’m going to do in the future, how that’s going to help me,” Harshberger said.

Guidance counselors do offer to help any students that feel they are in need of it.

“A lot of times I will have students come in and just ask me very basic general questions … but then I also do get very specific questions and usually unless it’s about financial aid stuff I can kind of answer them when they come up,” Rogan said. “I do have a contact for financial aid so if they need a contact person we can get them a name and number of someone who then can answer those types of questions.”

There are things that students can watch out for so that they can cause themselves less stress.

“First and foremost, take your time,” Rogan said. “If you’re working on something and you don’t know what you need to answer or you’re just feeling overwhelmed because there are a lot of questions, just kind of take a break and go back to it and just make sure that you are taking care of yourself. Second to that I would say to ask questions. You know personally as a school counselor I always like to say ‘come and ask me anything that you need.’ Past that I would say not hesitating to maybe email your counselor so that way you can at least kind of ask those questions or we can email the school specifically to see if it’s more questions that maybe their University or program of study can answer.”