Seniors push forward to meet fall deadlines

Applications, entrance exams, and essays stress seniors working to meet early action deadlines

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Brianna Simpson

Senior Taylor Hill visits the map of four-year colleges and universities that accept the Common Application outside of the library. Members of the school counseling and college advising staff organized the information for quick reference, giving students more details about entrance exam dates, application deadlines, and newly released scholarships. “I haven’t received any acceptances at this moment, but the Common Application is the hardest part of applying to college because it’s just too much,” Hill said.

Janiya Lewis, Editor in Chief

With the first semester coming to a close, emotions are high for the upperclassmen at GWHS as the pressures associated with of the end of the year are closing in. The last test dates of 2019 for both the SAT and ACT are scheduled for December and the deadlines for early decision and early action admission for some college applications are pending or past.

The seniors are navigating their way through obstacles, while striving to accomplish all that is to be done in addition to planning for post-secondary education, including balancing practices and games if they play a sport, working part-time jobs, participating in extracurricular activities, and completing daily homework assignments.

One of the biggest hassles that seniors report as the fall season comes to a close and winter begins is the struggle to write essays. Depending on the schools they are considering, there can one or possibly more essays due for each application, with questions asked by one rarely matching with the prompt of another, leaving seniors spending a great deal of time contemplating the amount of work that awaits them at the college level.

“The word limit throws me off completely,” Senior James Yeaman said of his admissions essays. “It’s hard trying to convey my experiences in essays with a limit attached. Writing would be easier if I was free to write as much as I wanted so I could capture the idea of how I want to describe my experiences.”

In an effort to ease writing woes, faculty and staff members have stepped in to help the students with their applications and hopefully calm their end-of-semester nerves.

“I have been getting help from Mr. Jordan and Ms. Lyons,” Senior Nija Stokes said. “My college application process goes well until I’m hit with another essay because I want it to be perfect, but I am proud to say that I’ve received one acceptance already.”

Whether it’s keeping their grades up to earn the highest possible GPA, or studying for pending exams and SOLs, seniors arguably have a lot on their plate this time of year. Making well-thought-out decisions has become second-nature to them, just in time, as the day when they will leave high school for good and be on their own fast approaches. Still, the deadlines and pressure can be daunting and seniors are often asked by faculty and staff members to remember the bigger picture, instead of dwelling on the stress of right now. Afterall, being passionate about where they are going after high school is half the battle to getting there.