The College Process: Behind the Scenes of Juggling Senior Year and College Applications

By: Naolee Makonnen

Senior year is a time anticipated with a mix of excitement and fear. It marks the culmination of one chapter ending and the beginning of another. For high school seniors, this period is not just about making memories and savoring the last moments of adolescence; it’s also a time of immense pressure as college applications loom. Juggling the demands of senior-year academics, extracurricular activities, and the complexities of college applications can feel like trying to keep numerous things afloat.

August 1st is a nerve-wracking time for any rising senior since it represents the start of a new collegiate application process. Thousands of colleges and universities open their application portal to the upcoming graduating class. Our 12-plus years in school have prepared us for this very moment, and now it’s time for us to make the most of it.

As the school year kicks into high gear, seniors dive head first into challenging courses, their minds buzzing with knowledge yet weary from the sheer volume of information thrown at them. Navigating the intricate waters of AP Calculus and sheer pages of English essays becomes a daily adventure. The pressure to excel academically intensifies, creating waves of stress that threaten to engulf even the most dedicated students.

For Bishop O’Connell, senior and WYC Co-Director of Media, Marketing, and Technology Maryam Atikem, it is a stressful process, making sure she keeps up with every little task colleges require. “The most stressful part about the college application process is keeping up with all the supplemental essays,” Atikem shared. It doesn’t end there; seniors must also ensure their grades remain on par, maintaining focus despite the inevitable distractions senior year brings. “Keeping our grades up and making sure not to fall behind in classes because of lack of motivation is something that we also need to think of,” the high school senior noted.

In her attempt to navigate the challenges of senior year, Matyam discovered a valuable strategy that helped lighten her load. “I started most of the college work in the summer,” she revealed, a practice she highly recommends to all rising seniors. “It helped me relieve a majority of the stress, and once school started, it allowed me to focus more on my extracurricular activities and other school activities.” Her proactive approach not only lightened her load but also allowed her to dedicate more time to the activities she loved, transforming senior year into a time of enjoyment instead of stress.

In the bustling world of senior year, where challenges often come our way, and pressures can feel intense, Maryam Atikem’s journey provides wisdom to young students who will soon be in this position. Her ability to navigate the challenges of the college application process with grace and determination is a testament to her resilience. As seniors across the nation embark on this journey, they may find inspiration in Maryam’s approach, transforming what could be a daunting time into a less stressful process by starting it early

Our 2023 Gala Sponsors