The temperature has begun to fall slowly, by just a few degrees, and a slight wind chill is in the air. A perfect time to watch the rain fall down the window and sip a nice, hot cup of tea, while reading a good book. As autumn approaches, the seniors at Key West High School (KWHS) cannot share this same sense of ease and relaxation. Instead, these emotions are replaced with anxiety and stress.
With the application deadlines creeping up and mountains of schoolwork amassing by the day, it is becoming increasingly difficult for students to remain focused and motivated to continue. The destructive tornado of supplementals and test scores swirls around their heads and makes it almost impossible not to feel completely and utterly buried under the weight of these potentially life-altering college applications.
Teresa Gaitan, a senior at KWHS explained, “I feel overwhelmed and it’s a lot of stuff to do on top of homework and extracurricular activities, mixed in with the fear that I might not even get into the school, despite all the work I have to do to apply.” The doubt and anxiety that stealthily sets in causes what otherwise might not be such an arduous task to feel ten times worse.
An anonymous senior at KWHS also expressed their uneasiness with this time of the year. “College applications have brought up a wave of emotions. The time limit, the gravity of the situation, and the self-reflection required are enough to cause stress.” These applications are the most imperative decision most seniors have had to make in their life so far. They continued, “On top of that, questioning if my accomplishments are ‘enough’ or if I’m doing the process right sets me into a spiral. I’m caught between the excitement of getting the applications over with and the fear of having to submit them.”
As a senior in high school myself, I wholeheartedly agree with their thoughts on the matter. This stress and anxiety have begun to impact my mental and physical health. It’s starting to feel more like a herculean task I can never bring to a conclusion. I find myself doing schoolwork just to avoid writing supplementals and working on my application simply because it stresses me out too much.
Nevertheless, I, and the other seniors of KWHS, must remember this is not the end, but the beginning. The anxiety of college applications can be overcome. Just take a breath and leap forward to reach the finish line.