Senior Struggles

Anthony Barney, Copy Editor

I’ve made it to senior year; it’s so surreal. I really can’t believe that I’ve made it this far. Although only being a month and a half into the school year, it has really been the hardest year for me so far. People in the past that have said that it was a “blowoff year” or a “waste of time” are completely wrong. This year is in no way a “blowoff.” I don’t think I’ve ever been more stressed before in my entire life. This year is so much more complex and busy, and when I thought I was prepared, it turns out that I wasn’t. I partially blame myself because I didn’t take the easiest classes I could’ve, and getting a job didn’t help my case, either. Although it seems almost impossible, I feel senior year is setting me up for the unforgiving world we will be entering after we walk across the stage and shake the principal’s hand.

As seniors, college is coming up next fall for some of us. This can be a very stressful process because , again, we are exposed to a whole new atmosphere we have never seen before. College visits, sending transcripts to colleges and universities, actually applying to school, and much more. It was hard watching all my friends and classmates get accepted to college, and having family doctors and family members asking what grade we’re in followed by a, “Oh, what are your plans for after high school?” It seems dramatic, but it really sets off a red flag for me. It really does scare me and make me very stressed and nervous. Then where am I? In the middle of applying to college and finishing my student aid application. I wish it could’ve been done weeks ago, but then again, there is still no time. I’ve been trying to make time, but still not continuing the application feels like a ticking time bomb in my brain waiting to explode.

What difference does it make what college we go to? How does where we attend college affect anyone other than ourselves? There is this lingering nag that if you don’t go to the best school or university, you’re frowned upon by many people. I think this is very discouraging. It is my future, why are you scrutinizing me on my college decisions and my plans? I’m sorry that I can’t follow what your plans are.

Standardized tests are also a problem that need to be addressed. There is this issue that if you don’t get the best SAT or ACT score, your chances to be admitted are severely reduced. I feel like there is too much pressure to get a near perfect score. If you get a perfect score, good for you. Not everyone is the same, and not everyone will get those. It took me a long time to realize that the score is not everything. Despite what my parents told me, I thought that I needed the best score to get in. Looking back, it was so foolish. If I could go back in time, I would have to tell myself that I’m human. I make mistakes and I’m not perfect. You just have to accept that sometimes.

I don’t think seniors are fully prepared for college. I know for a fact that I’m not alone, either. I feel like seniors are expected to be prepared and know everything in the realm of college, but that isn’t always the case. It almost seems we are completely left in the dark. We are expected to be very experienced and know how to navigate through all the programs. We are expected to be totally independent and do this whole application process ourselves. I do agree, though, that we are young adults and we need to learn independence sometime in our life. This is a good head start, but at the same time, it’s not. This is our first time in this area. Being the older child, this is also my parents’ first time with a child about to enter the real college world. Although they did the same process that I did, it’s not the same. Because they went through college as a freshman a decade ago and things have changed.

I know that this year isn’t suppose to be easy but I am definitely excited for the next step in my life, and this final year will be the building block for the next phase this fall.