Going into senior year, I thought it couldn’t get more stressful and aggravating than junior year. My summer of junior year was filled with my mother pushing me to write my college essays, and a growing feeling of fear and insecurity flooded into my body. I was warned about the stress that comes along with writing deep personal narratives for a panel of college admissions employees to judge, but there were plenty of aspects to senior year that I was not prepared for.
I wasn’t equipped for the rejection. I had prepared myself for the possibility of rejection, but I wasn’t ready for the tidal wave of emotions that came with it. I wish someone would have told me that you can’t brush off rejection as if it doesn’t affect you. Regardless of where the rejection is coming from; top choices or safety colleges, it is important to take a moment to mourn the loss of the life you once thought you might live.As stupid as that sounds, I think it’s really important that people take a second to breathe and acknowledge where they’re at and where they are going. Bottling up feelings of self doubt and anxiety will not do you any favours. Take the time to heal. But once you’ve taken that time, pick yourself back up and focus on what’s to come. Those thoughts of not being good enough or wishing you worked harder won’t help at this point. You need to harness that energy and put it towards something useful, such as your future. I wish someone told me that it is OK to get rejected.
The hardest part of the college process is not being in control. The second you press “send” on that application, it is out of your hands. There is nothing you can do about it. You may go crazy checking your college portals and email waiting for a response, but letting it monopolize your life won’t change the outcome. My heart dropped every time I checked my email and saw no updates on my application. I felt a pit in my stomach for weeks on end, and my mind was running wild. I know it’s silly to tell you that all you can do is wait, but I wish someone told me that the waiting was harder than having to write about myself or the stress of standardized testing.
It’s hard to spend so much time building relationships with people throughout high school, only to get to senior year and realize that you may lose touch with those people or never see them again. However, don’t let that discourage you from making new friends or enjoying the time you have left with the friends you already have. It’s easy to get comfortable with the life you’ve been living with the people you have been living it with. It’s just as easy to get uncomfortable with the life you have been living with the people you have been living it with. It is important to comprehend that after you throw that grad cap in the air, your life is never going to be the same again, so enjoy it while you have it. People may try to push you away, because it’s easier to push people away then to admit you’re going to miss them. Fight for your friendships, don’t let little arguments tarnish the relationships you spent so long and tried so hard to build. I wish someone told me that senior year was going to be one of the most emotionally draining years of my life so far.
People warn you about how stressful junior year is and how once you get past Christmas of senior year, you can relax. Personally, I found senior year a lot more stressful and overwhelming than junior year. You expect that after the SAT, transcripts and AP tests, it’s over and you can ditch all the school you want — it’s not over. Keeping your grades and maintaining your attendance is hard. The fear of not graduating or getting your offer rescinded will captivate your life, and there is no party or sunset date that is worth losing everything you worked so hard for. This is the last push and you can do it. I wish someone told me that senioritis is a myth.
You have the chance to do so many things — so do them. There is going to be tears and fights but trust me they are worth it. There is no better feeling than the feeling of being proud of the work you did. The feeling of relief when you commit to the college that fits you best is like none other, the feeling of relief when you get your senior checkout list, all these feelings are worth all the stress and trauma of senior year. I wish someone told me to cherish every moment and every memory while I still had it.