Under Pressure: Seniors Prepare For College Deadlines


Genieva Pawlowski

Upperclassmen engage in one of many opportunities to hear from a college advisor, learning how to stand out in applications.

Genieva Pawlowski, Campus News Editor

WOODBURY – When thinking about senior year, students think of fun and excitement; they are now top dogs of the school. In reality, seniors are under lots of pressure regarding college preparations.

Whether students are stressing over a topic regarding their essays or picking their top five colleges, this is a process that takes time and commitment. 

Nonnewaug’s College and Career Resource Center has been packed day in and day out with students and college representatives. All seniors are set up with Naviance to have access to a planned schedule that shows which college has a visit and at what time. Students need to sign up for these meetings in advance in order to attend. 

“The seniors seem to be in a much better place this year than in the last couple of years,” says Kathy Green, the CCRC counselor. “I think it is still hard to get a sense of target schools with the shifted acceptance rate. Creating setlists [for each student] is difficult.”

Seniors and even juniors are encouraged to sit in for these visits and learn about not just one college but multiple. Sitting in the CCRC will be beneficial because it offers students to follow a set checklist.

Many of the seniors are applying by Nov. 1. They have until then to turn in their essays and transcripts.

“Six percent of students have applied to colleges and have asked for transcripts,” says Green.

Financial Aid

With the students moving up in their progress to the future, they have to think about how much their dream colleges cost and how they will afford it. Madison Innes, a senior, plans on using financial aid and student loans, while other students are still formulating plans and speaking to parents.

“It’s something I still need to talk to my parents about,” says Nicholas Rose, a senior.

Help from Green

Encouraging words from all advisors are what has been helping most of the seniors this year.

“I think one thing is to stay in your lane and not to get caught up in what others are doing,” says Green.

Seniors are patching up any holes left in their preparations. With everyone at different stages, Green reminds students what they can do to conclude their progress.

“Attending visits or getting out on trade school campuses, completing the Common App, [and] having a teacher or a counselor review an essay” are among Green’s recommendations.

Jacob Wells, left, works on his college applications while classmate Nick Rose cheers him on. (Genieva Pawlowski)

Preparing Yourself

Making a new life for yourself is something that every high school student dreams of until it happens. 

“I’m struggling with getting ready to not be with my family all the time,” says Innes. “They are such a big part of my life, and I feel it would be weird to be far away from them.”

Being away from parents and being on your own for the first time, for some, is a scary thought. Stress can be consuming in situations like these. Students are struggling with juggling all of their responsibilities.

“Deciding where I’m going to apply, balancing work, school, and college applications, as well as handling the extra stress brought on by applying [is difficult],” says Rose.

Mixed emotions abound about the preparations. Innes feels both excited and anxious, while Rose feels stressed and unsure.

Nearing November

Writing the college essay is the long part of applying that lots of seniors dread. Green is happy to share some helpful tips to leave with the students.

“Be authentic and have a story that is unique to them or that really helps the reader have a feeling or better understanding of what’s being written,” says Green. “Make sure the essay conveys interests, skills, qualities, or values of what the student will bring to campus.”