The college admission process is more competitive now than ever before. (Image courtesy of Ivy Ma)
Saint Joseph High School

Opinion: Seniors are stressed as college competitiveness increases

Thousands of students compete with each other for a spot at their favorite college.

However, has the difficulty changed for students to get into college? Do you need a 4.0 GPA? Extracurricular activities? Amazing entrance essays? Outstanding SAT scores?

There are no definite answers for these questions.

However, it is pretty clear that getting into college now is super competitive. A 4.0 GPA is sometimes not enough to get into a top-tier university, and neither is participating in extracurricular activities.

My advisor says that colleges are looking for well-rounded students who are passionate about what they do. Nonetheless, students shouldn’t be discouraged. Just put in 110% and make yourself proud.

Being a senior can definitely affect a student’s mental state both negatively and positively. In a negative way, students’ stress level often increases.

This stress may contribute to serious health problems later in life, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and other illnesses, as well as mental disorders like depression or anxiety. In addition, low grades might affect how the student feels emotionally.

A student’s life is made up of a triangle consisting of school, social interaction and sleep; many students might not be able to balance all three.

So, if a student is struggling with her school work, they might begin to sleep less than eight hours per night or will stop interacting with others as much as they used to.

All of this pressure can definitely lead to negative effects in regards to a student’s mental health.

On the other hand, being a senior also has many benefits. Many high school seniors can agree that their last year of high school has made them stronger and teaches them life lessons.

Senior Lorena Garcia, 18, thinks that all the sleepless nights, studying and hard work ultimately pay off in the end.

“I think senior year is that marker to the end of your childhood as we embark for college as adults, in less than a year,” Garcia said. “Senior year is just a year of lasts that I have learned to appreciate and cherish.”

How can you prevent meltdowns and handle all the stress:

  • You will be busy. Be organized and use a planner

A planner can keep you organized and prevent you from missing a due date or forgetting an assignment. Another benefit of using a planner is that because you are sticking to a schedule for all of your mandatory responsibilities, you may find some free time for your leisure endeavors, whether that means working on a hobby or trying something new.

  • Treat yourself 

After a long session of hard work, it is totally okay for you to treat yourself. For instance, you can refuel yourself by grabbing a snack such an apple or a delicious scoop of ice cream. You should participate in activities that make you feel content. Do something you like to do to to relieve the stress of senior year.

  • Ask others for help

Your teachers are always there to help you. If you need help, all you have to do is talk to them after class or send them a quick email — we know how easy that can be in 2020.

When you do decide to talk to your teachers, be specific. No one can read your mind. If you are truly struggling in a subject, your teacher can provide you with resources and tools that can support your academic success.

Overall, being a senior is definitely a challenge. However, looking back at your hard work after a few months will make you proud.

In addition, there are so many things that you will be able to leave high school having accomplished: a plethora of memories, an amazing group of friends and life lessons you will continue to use. Most importantly, remember to have fun. You only live once, so make the most of it.