by: Evie Zahner
For most seniors, college has been looming over our heads since spring of our junior year. Writing essays, countless supplements, determining a list, and balancing application deadlines are just a few of the things we have to keep in mind. One would think that after applications are all in we're golden, right? Not so much, because then starts the months and months of agonizing waiting. I would argue that waiting for decisions is worse than submitting applications.
Like many of my peers, I applied to several schools that only offer regular decisions, as opposed to early action. Considering I wasn't interested in applying early decision anywhere, this was my only option. Since finishing all of my applications, my thoughts are now consumed by questions of will I get into my top school? What even is my top school? Will I make the wrong decision? And other anxiety inducing thoughts surrounding college. I don't think anyone could have prepared me for just the level of anxiety that we as seniors experience during the college process. Personally, a majority of the schools that are in my top five choices have fairly low acceptance rates, which only adds on to the worrying. It makes you question if you are good enough, and if I'm only competing with other people who have the same grades and resumes as I do. Most regular admission decisions come out in late March or early April, which means there is about 3 or so months until I can finally put these questions to rest. But wait, there's more! After all decisions are out, I still have to decide where to go. This may not apply to some of my classmates, but I am a very indecisive person, and I especially hate making big decisions. Most people have told me that when you get into the school that you end up going to, you just know, but I have my doubts with that logic. Personally, the school that I want to go to changes week to week, if not day by day, so the fact that within 4 months I will have probably made that decision is another anxiety inducer. I've been able to narrow down my top schools a little bit, but it all still boils down to having to choose between them.
In addition to the anxiety with the application process, there is also a lot of anxiety and nerves around actually going to college. New friend group, new environment, and for some it will be the first time we are going to be away from home for an extended period of time. I remember a conversation I had with my mom a few months ago when I had started seriously thinking about college, and I was freaking out because I didn't know what a meal swipe was, or how dining plans worked. Silly as this may sound, it was a genuine point of anxiety for me. For people like me who have been at Wooster for a very long time, being in a new environment can be especially nerve wracking. This will be the first time that we have to find a new friend group, navigate a new campus, and be out of our comfort zones. I'm lucky enough to have been going to sleepaway camp since I was really young, so I have gained some skills in adapting to a new environment. That doesn't mean that I am still incredibly nervous about having to do it.
Having anxiety around going to college and the college process is something that everyone goes through, it's inevitable. I think that people should be more open about their experiences with working through the stress and anxiety of this year, because at the end of the day we as a class are all going through the same process.