Holy Deadlines, Batman!

We all knew it was coming, but we didn’t know how fast it would come. Senior year is upon us. The first set of college applications is due this week, and we’ve got essays to write, transcripts to request, and our favorite standardized tests to retake. Not to mention a full course load and extra curricular activities. Sleep? What’s that?

I feel lucky, having watched my older sister, Jocelyn, go through the college process two years ago, I learned a lot from watching her scramble at the last minute when her first deadline came around. Seniors, this is a little late for you, but juniors, start early. It’ll keep your stress down when common app crashes on deadline day. On that same note, don’t go into common app when it goes live on August 1st, because it’ll crash on you four times before you can get anything done. So start early…but not too early. Another thing I realized more recently: theatre administration majors don’t apply to the same schools as bio majors. So if you’ve been on a lot of college tours with an older sibling, and they were a history major and you want to study chemistry, tour different schools.

When I think about college, I get a little scared. Because the hard truth of it is, sometimes colleges deny your acceptance because of your grades, but sometimes, you’re smart enough, but they don’t have enough spots for you.

I sent a survey out to the senior class to get a general feel for how everyone is doing. I asked questions about course load, time spent on homework, amount of college tours, stress level, and work on the common app. I have selected the five best graphs from the seniors to show what they’re up to. DISCLAIMER: Only 57 seniors had the time to respond to the survey.

I personally interviewed a few of my fellow seniors, asking about when their first deadlines fall, and how prepared they feel. Two seniors I talked to have early action or decision deadlines on November 1st, and November 15th. Surprisingly, neither of them are all that worried about it. They’ve done their work on the common app, and since they’re in APW, they already have an essay that’s been edited by a teacher. However, a senior girl with a November 1 deadline is very stressed, because she still needs another teacher recommendation. At the opposite end of the stress scale, I spoke to a senior who said only this: “I don’t even know when my deadlines are.” One senior girl I’ve spoken to already has her first acceptance. We’re all over the place.

Many seniors are taking honors classes, often three or more. Most of us are doing extra-curricular activities. Over half of the seniors are getting 6 to 8 hours of sleep, which is quite good for being pretty close to our first deadlines. The senior class is doing a lot of college touring. Most of us are working on our essays and getting though the common app. But, some people haven’t started, and some people are done. If the school isn’t on the common app, chances are a lot of seniors aren’t applying. Most of us are spending anywhere between 1 and 4 hours a night on homework. But we’re probably only taking six classes. We’ve given ourselves a free period to “work on homework.” Whether that’s true or not is a separate issue. But one thing is clear, we are stressed. Fall of senior year is a high pressure time. We are expected to keep up with everything we already do, and then add college tours and applications. But, keep your eyes on the prize, our suffering is over on May 1st. We’ll all know by then.

For me, I only have one complaint about this whole senior year thing… why haven’t we done any spontaneous musical numbers?

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