A Note to Self- Calm Down About Your College Essays

It’s college application season, and every senior you talk to is probably stressed. I know I am. When I stop and think about it though, it doesn’t make much sense. I’ve already taken my SATs, received grades from three years of high school, and been involved in extracurricular activities. What could possibly be left? Oh yeah, those 30 supplemental essays I still have to write!

With those supplemental essays hanging over my head, it’s certainly easy to forget about all the things I’ve already completed. After all, I’m not going to think about my sophomore year grades and the SATs I took a year ago right now. However, I’ve started to realize that maybe I should, at least every once in a while.

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Seniors spend most of their time worrying about college essays, but is it worth it?
Photo courtesy of The Princeton Review.

I’ve realized that senior year has a reputation of being the “college application year.” It leads most seniors to think that their college acceptances and denials will be based on the effort they put in this year. In truth, senior year is simply the time to compile all of their grades, scores, accomplishments, and personal development from the past three years and present them to colleges. Most of the effort has already been put in. College application season seems just a little bit less daunting when I think of it this way.

So why do seniors stress so much if the majority of their work is already done? Filling out forms can be tedious, but that’s not what is causing seniors stress. It has to be the essays. Yes, those essays are time-consuming, stress-worthy, and important to the admissions process, but not nearly to the scale we all think they are. When the essays are all that is left, we think of them as our last hope. They are our last opportunity to present ourselves in a perfect way to gain admission to our favorite schools. Simply put, we obsess over them. They take up all of our time, and we begin to forget that they are not the entire application. I’ve almost forgotten to send my SAT scores to a few schools, because I’ve come to think of college applications as only the essays.

These essays are the cause of senior year stress, but they don’t need to be. Colleges weigh grades, course load, scores, and extracurricular activities just as much, if not more, than the essays when they make admissions decisions. Your essay is not likely to be the reason you get accepted or denied. So a note to self (and the entire Class of 2019) – Calm down about your college essays!

By: Kaitlyn Brown’19, Co-Executive Editor-in-Chief 


Categories: Opinions