College application season is stressing me out

Money, toxic competition and stress make this a hard place to be in.

All+of+your+hard+work+over+the+past+four+years+comes+down+to+this+final+stretch.+

CREDIT: ANI TUTUNJYAN | THE MIRROR

All of your hard work over the past four years comes down to this final stretch.

It’s that time of the year when “work on college apps!” is on my to-do list every day but never gets checked off. 

College application season is in full force and I am stressed out.

There’s so much to do from applying to FAFSA to writing over a dozen essays, not to mention the many parts of the application itself that are confusing to fill out. 

I need to pick one pivotal moment that encompasses my entire personality and reflect on it in 650 words or less. That’s too much pressure and not enough words. 

Writing isn’t the only thing to be overwhelmed about when applying to college. 

College costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. And each application alone can cost anywhere between $60 to $80.

Some people even take a gap year to work to afford college, while others work all summer before college instead of having fun with their friends to pay for textbooks the next semester.

Senior must deal with all of this while continuing their first semester fo their final year in high school. (CREDIT: ENERGEPIC.COM | PEXELS)

Your worry is still not over if you manage to write good essays, find money for your applications and scholarships for your tuition. Because for the next three months, you’ll be sitting at the edge of your seat wondering if the admission officers reading essays think you’re interesting enough, if your grades are good enough, if your extracurriculars are unique enough and if you’re an overall good fit for their college.

There’s a constant pressure of trying to be the perfect person and make all the right choices in high school when you’re not even old enough to vote. And college applications are a test of how close to that person you have become, all based on a mysterious formula.

High school competitiveness is at an all time high while college acceptances are at an all time low. Students are competing for the highest grades, the most extracurriculars, and the best recognitions.

College acceptances have created a toxic culture in high schools that likely will not dissolve as college acceptance rates continue to drop.

While I’d be happy to get into any UC or CSU school, I’ve also fallen victim to college elitism, seeking to receive acceptance from the school with the most pristine name and the lowest acceptance rate even if the campus or student life might not be for me.

It’s a dilemma almost every high school student faces. All we can hope for is that we make the best choice for our individual needs when the time for decisions does come.

The intricacies of college are likely something I won’t really understand even after I apply to college and get accepted.