The College Stress

Julie Schmidt

Ever since freshman year, people have asked me where I want to go to college, or what I would like to major in. When I replied with a shrug and said that I honestly had no clue yet, people would laugh and tell me not to worry since I had plenty of time to decide. The amount of questions only increased as I neared my senior year, and now it’s finally here. For years, I have heard horror stories of how stressed I will feel and how scary the college process is. I was told stories of people going into denial and refusing to write any college essays until last minute. I was given advice on how to deal with the stress that accompanies college applications and told to brace myself for the pain of rejections. However, I am now a senior in the thick of the college applications, and I haven’t yet experienced any of the issues about which I have been warned.

While, of course, I am experiencing the typical stress of a high schooler having to balance supplemental essays for college with my regular courses, I have not felt an overwhelming amount of stress or apprehension regarding college. I have been informed that while getting applications in on time is stressful, the real stress emerges when the waiting game begins. Supposedly, the suspense between sending an application in and hearing back in the spring is enough to make people nauseous. I have seen the stress of college take hold over friends, so I know that the tales are true, but my case seems to be an unusual exception.

I can empathize with my friends who are plagued by college stress, yet I have chosen to keep my mind on what is within my control. I focus on my current academic work for high school, and over the weekend I set aside time to work on college applications. I trust that the work I put into each application is enough so that once I send it in I expel it from my mind and return my focus to my schoolwork. I realize that this is difficult for many people to do, but everyone’s journey is different, and I have yet to learn whether my lack of stress is good or bad.

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