College admissions: The race for acceptance

College admissions: The race for acceptance

My friends are very anxious to get everything finished before the deadlines for early admissions. The hardest part for them, however, is not filling out the application in time for early admissions, but waiting to hear from colleges,” said senior Gwen Taradash about how she views the early admissions process.

Taradash is not the typical student, however. Her junior year, she attended a plethora of soccer camps and showcases. It was there that she distinguished herself as a skilled player in the competitive collegiate environment. Several months later, Taradash was contacted by the Stonehill Girls Soccer Coach and was soon verbally committed to attend Stonehill College to play for their program.

“It is a relief to me that I know where I will be going to school next year,” she said. “I have been able to enjoy my senior year a little more than my other classmates.”

Despite the appearance of an easy early admission process, Taradash still had to cope with the stresses of the college admissions process. The difficulties that she faced in her junior year are representative of what many other students are tackling their senior year.

Many students agree that having to deal with the stress of applying to college adds entirely unneeded stress to the rigors of senior year homework. The New York Times, along with other health journals like Psychology Today, write that the stress of meeting deadlines, balancing schoolwork with applications, and waiting to hear from colleges is an unhealthy mix. Forty-nine percent of seniors who apply early report great stress on a daily basis and 26% report symptoms of clinical depression, according to Medical Daily.

Senior David Bacdayan often comes home and immediately begins working on his homework, taking breaks from that homework by working on his application. Bacdayan confirmed that this high level of work for college on top of his normal workload was, generally, putting a strain on his work.

Senior Jakob Cardoza is applying early and would say he is more anxious about the concept of “starting a whole new lifestyle” once he is in college, but agrees that there is definitely plenty of anxiety attached to the process.

Senior Kathryn Pacheco says that managing schoolwork and applying to college together can be a hassle, and that it is easy to procrastinate on one to work on the other. Overall, she said, “The experience of applying to college is like when your parents throw you in the pool without floaties.” It is scary and stressful, but usually people are able to stay afloat.

With his November 1 deadline fast approaching, senior Noah DeRossi-Goldberg is putting the final touches on his Common Application for Providence College. “I started the Common App right before school started,” he said. “However, my essay has been in my head for over a year.”

Teachers also have a role to play in early admissions. Every year, juniors come to two of their junior year teachers and ask them to write letters of recommendation for their applications. This recommendation is one of the easier parts for the students, as they just have to find a teacher whom they trust and who knows them. For teachers whose only involvement in the application is this letter, the work is manageable, but for English teachers, who also help students conceptualize and revise their application essays, it can get to be burdensome and stress-inducing. English Teacher Catherine Madsen calls work on the essays “the process that can never end.”

DeRossi-Goldberg agreed. “The work on the common app never really stops until you hit submit,” she said.

Early college admissions, students and teachers alike concur, is a yearly stress-fest that makes school all the more difficult, but when it comes to deciding how your life is going to play out, why spare any effort?