Seniors Ava Euteneuer, Liam Parpan, Noelle Pedote, and Connor Saurbier show off their acceptance letters and emails to the University of Alabama, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the University of Iowa.

Photo by Isabelle Downey

Common Apps and common stresses

October 15, 2018

The air is chilly, the leaves are falling, and Halloween is just around the corner, which means that college application season is officially among us. Whether your applications are submitted or barely started, you’re most likely overwhelmed with stress, but try not to worry. Almost every senior is in the same boat, patiently and nervously waiting for that ‘Congratulations!’ letter or email from their top school.


After a long few months of filling out the Common Application and writing endless amounts of essays, the time to press submit has come and gone for some students. Having the chance at the end of junior year to work on a Common Application essay in English class proved to be extremely beneficial for some seniors, given they were able to answer additional application questions and immediately press submit as soon as their dream school’s application went live.


“I did all of my college visits during sophomore year, so I knew what college I wanted to go to already,” senior Aly Leonard said. “After junior year, I started working on applications right away, when I had free time. I wrote my essay junior year in English and had someone help me revise it over the summer. I finished the Common Application at the beginning of senior year so then all I had to do was submit everything, which I did at the beginning of the year.”


Some were not as lucky, though. Not all schools accept the Common Application and require more than one broad essay. Select schools will require applicants to address their school in their essay, they typically ask applicants for a 650-word essay as to why they want to go to that particular school and what they are expecting to major in. Some schools even require multiple essays regarding majors, that is if the applicant decides to include a backup major on their application.


“Only four of my schools that I’m applying to are on the Common Application, and most of the schools had school-specific applications,” senior Ava Euteneuer, said. “I’ve tried to reuse my Common App essay as much as I can to save time, but some of my schools that aren’t on the Common App have different prompts or require multiple essays. These schools have pretty time-consuming applications so I’ve been writing essays and filling out applications almost every day to finish for November and December deadlines.”


Though deadlines are approaching, there are a handful of students who have not even begun the application process, but that is why there are schools that offer later deadlines, like those that have deadlines in December or January. Also, if you were to miss the typical November 1 deadline, schools offer a ‘non-early action’ deadline, which is usually in December, giving applicants more time to apply but in a more competitive pool of people.


“I plan on applying to schools with later deadlines,” senior Emma DePasque said. “I personally am just going to take it one step at a time and honestly, just use my resources. I definitely plan on going to the CCRC to ask for help with parts of the application process that I don’t understand.”

Photo by Isabelle Downey
The College and Career Resource Center, CCRC, where students are encouraged to visit for help from Ms. Thompson and Ms. Armstrong on all things college and career applications.


Applying to college really isn’t as scary as it sounds. Yes, it is time-consuming, but if you manage your time wisely, you won’t find yourself panicking at 11:59 on November 1st to get all of your essays done.


“I actually pretended that all of my applications were due October 1st instead of November 1st, knowing that I would procrastinate them,” senior Liam Parpan said. “It worked out really well because I was able to finish everything. I also worked on my essay over the summer because that was definitely the hardest part for me.”


Though stressful and nerve-wracking, getting that ‘Congratulations!’ letter or email from one of your top schools, or any school really, is a feeling that can be described as exciting, relieving, unbelievable, and triumphant.


“I’m not 100 percent sure if I’m going to go to Nebraska or not, but I would really love to,” senior Noelle Pedote said. “It’s in my top four schools so obviously I was excited to see an envelope with a big, red ‘N’ on it when I got home from school. The first thing I did was facetime my mom, who was in Florida at the time, then I told my dad. They were both so excited because they know I would like to go there. There’s really no better feeling than getting into one of the colleges you want to attend.”

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