The Student News Site of Weston High School

WHS seniors maneuver end of term stress

November 16, 2017

Senior Terry Mullany works on college applications in the guidance office. PHOTO/Conor McCoy

The first semester of senior year is one of the most stressful times for high school students. With classes hitting their maximum stride, seniors are forced to navigate the intimidating college application process while keeping up with the challenging workload.

For seniors at WHS, the first academic quarter ends on nearly the same day as the deadline for the first round of early college applications. According to guidance counselor Samson Luu, around 80% of seniors submit early applications to top colleges every year.

With the early application date set for November 1 and the quarter ending on the next day, seniors were extremely stressed by the combination of the two.

“I think it’s unintentionally stressful. For every other student it’s just the end of quarter one, but for seniors, it’s an unfortunate coincidence,” senior Garret Lualdi said.

With the quarter ending, students across the board feel the pressure to turn in all of their assignments before grades close. For seniors, there is the additional headache of finishing and sending in all of their college applications and supplementary materials. The stress can be seen in the tired faces of the senior class.

The past couple of months was a balancing act for Lualdi as he juggled his schoolwork and sports with his college application process.

“In any other grade, you would finish homework and then relax but now there is a whole other phase to complete.”

These feelings of being overworked are common among various members of the class of 2018.

“I often would have to work during lunch and spend three to five hours on homework at home, usually more on weekend. It sometimes goes through phases of feeling manageable, but then other times it’s really not enough time in the day to work and sleep,” senior Kaitlin Henry said.

According to a student poll, this heavy workload leads to many late nights working on assignments.

A poll generated by Wildcat Tracks surveyed how much sleep WHS seniors receive on average per night. Of those who responded, 88% percent of the senior class reported that they got less than the recommended eight or more hours of sleep per night.

Even though seniors can be up against lots of school work and college applications, they have multiple resources that are in place to help them.

The guidance department is an integral part of the college process and is the first place seniors go to for help with the application process. At any given moment, you can find multiple seniors waiting to meet with their counselors.

“It’s all about managing the time,” Luu said. “Organization is key, and being able to break down what you have to do a week or two weeks ahead of time is an important skill to have.”

Henry noted the importance of writing essays and the Common App over the summer for future seniors.

In addition to completing summer work, a common piece of advice regarding the college application process was to give it the proper time and attention it deserves. However, living in the present is most important, Henry said.

“Enjoy the moments as they come, because it’s the last time for a lot of things. Don’t miss out on the fun stuff.”

Even after the early college application deadline has passed, seniors still strive to maintain their grades as they look ahead to the next round of fast-approaching regular applications.

“It’s definitely relieving that I have Common App stuff done and that I survived term one, but things feel bittersweet in certain ways,” Henry said.

Regardless of the next phases of the college application process, Lualdi is excited for whatever his next step in life may be.

“It’s all uphill from here.”

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