Application Anxiety

Seniors stress over college applications


For many seniors, applying to college is a confusing and challenging task that causes anxiety and nervousness. The application process is difficult, so resources like college essay classes or application camps are often utilized. Mrs. Sarah Thomas, head of the English department, has been teaching one-on-one college essay classes over the summer for the past six years.

“The reason I do it is because of all the pressure associated with college essays and the application process,” Thomas said. “A lot of people, even if they have siblings who went through the application process, still have stress because their siblings may not remember what they wrote about.”

Many seniors experience anxiety when dealing with college applications because of the significance of the essays. Furthermore, some colleges require multiple essays. For example, Texas A&M University provides prompts for two essays: the ApplyTexas essay, which requires applicants to write about the environment that they were raised in, and the Coalition Essay, which requires applicants to tell a story from their life that has shaped their character.

“I think a lot of them feel like if their essay isn’t exactly what the admissions offices want to hear, then they won’t get in,” Thomas said. “The reality is, the admissions offices don’t want formal essays. They want an essay that will show who the applicant actually is.”

Disregarding the traditional writing style can be difficult for students because most essays for classes are written using a template or guide. In addition, essays written for english classes are typically written using a formal, or academic, writing style.

“I think that they were surprised that they could talk freely and put voice in their papers,” Thomas said. “It didn’t have to be a formal essay and they realized that if they pick something they actually care about, then it’s easy and they actually want to tell the story.”

Many seniors feel rather confident after going through essay writing sessions because they feel that they have written a strong paper. This confidence stems from the fact that their essay has the potential to admit them to the college they are applying for.

“I try to alleviate their stress and make it something that they can handle,” Thomas said.

The anxiety and stress that comes with the application process can be alleviated by some help and guidance; furthermore, when seniors feel prepared to write a good essay, they also feel confident. Therefore, it is not surprising that Thomas’ students felt confident about their papers by the end of her class.

“All of them felt confident. I am that good,” said Mrs.Thomas.