BOO! (JK) Here’s why Seniors shouldn’t fear their applications

Patrick Dima, Scribe Reporter

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For many, October represents pumpkin spice lattes, fall, and most importantly, Halloween. Yet, for high school seniors, the only spooky thing they await is the November 1st deadline for early action college applications. If students understand the process, the act of applying to college becomes easier and less stressful.

Unfortunately, school does not pause as seniors scramble to decide on colleges and apply for them, as many, including Schaumburg High School Senior Manny Hernandez, have noticed.

“[It is hard] to tackle clubs and school related activities with applications,” Hernandez said. “The weight of all those things at once brings a lot of stress.”

Hernandez recognized the importance of organization whilst applying, and taking it “chunks at a time.” 

“By organizing yourself, there’s less pressure,” he suggested. “This increases productivity and helps you so you don’t get overwhelmed.”

Time represents a key factor of college applications, and extends beyond the early months of senior year. Both Hernandez and Brent Swolsky, a Schaumburg High School counselor, recommend to juniors and even some seniors early in the process that visiting colleges and learning about their various programs should be one of the first steps. 

“Juniors’ focus should be looking at their interests, and seeing what they want out of a university,” Swolsky advised. “[They should] research schools, take college visits and tours, speak with school representatives, get a sense as to what they’re going to feel on campus.”

Swolsky also encourages students to take scholarships seriously, and to likewise begin the process for those whenever possible because, for example, if a student only earned one scholarship out of the five they applied for, the student still earned a great deal of money.

“Put in an hour or two a week for scholarships, because it’s practically free money per hour,” Swolsky stated.

However, Swolsky’s biggest tip to students overwhelmed with applying or even with the thought of applying is simply to… breathe. 

“Breathe. There is pressure on these applications, but if something doesn’t go your way, it’s not all over,” Swolsky said. “Take it for what it’s worth, breathe, and process everything. Everyone has a different path. Not every path is as straightforward as it may seem.”

As scary as applications appear for anyone involved with the process at this point in time, students and adults alike stress the importance of organization, and keeping a calm attitude as much as possible. Engaging all the steps as early as possible allows time for students to pace themselves effectively and efficiently in order to achieve the best outcome possible.

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