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If you Thought High School Alone was Tough…

Josh Baker, Entertainment Editor

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As an 18-year-old senior in high school, I’m waiting to hear back from colleges. Applying to colleges is one of the most stressful and drawn-out processes a teenager can go through (puberty is also up there), but there’s no avoiding it.

First, you have the choices of early decision (ED), early action, or just regular decision. Early decision plans are binding — a student who is accepted as an ED applicant must attend the college. Early action plans are non-binding — students receive an early response to their application but do not have to commit to the college until the normal reply date of May 1.

On top of that, there’s also the numbers side of things and all the required forms. There’s a usually $75-$100 fee just to apply. The Common App, not accepted by all schools, has 6 sections, the required 600 word essay, the multiple mini-essays every school requires, the letters of recommendation from teachers and employers, the financial aid forms, the 20-page application for WOHS scholarships, the SATs taken at least twice (with tutors) all while keeping your junior year grades up and getting your driver’s license. Oh, and don’t forget to send those SAT scores to all the schools you applied to (at $12 per school). Tired yet? Well, we’re just getting started.

Now onto the waiting. Waiting for a response is the worst part, you will do all of that just to apply and colleges won’t get back to you for months. First, you check your email daily while waiting months and months for a response. Then, they tell you through email…that your answer is waiting for you on their website, which the schools like to call their “portal.” But first, you have to enter your username and password for that website. And then, you have to click on a button that has your actual answer! Now, picture all of that drama happening as your entire family anxiously crowds around you and your laptop waiting impatiently.

On top of that, colleges don’t always give you a confirmation. Sometimes they get you all excited receive an answer, even if that answer is a no and then their email says you’re only good enough to find out later like everyone else. This is called a deferral. A deferral from a college admissions office happens only if you apply early decision or early action. It means that a college didn’t admit you early but will reevaluate your application during the regular admissions period and compare you to those students. Possibly worse than a deferral is being waitlisted. Being waitlisted is unlike being deferred; the college has finished reviewing your file and made a decision to put you on a waiting list for admission. Being on a waitlist typically means that you are placed within a “holding pattern” of sorts. The admissions committee may or may not admit students from the waitlist it depends on how many of their accepted students decide to attend.

Applying to college is a right of passage, it certainly toughens you up and teaches you about time management, disappointment and perseverance. However, after all of the time and effort spent applying the least colleges could do is send a letter rather than a tedious email opening process.

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If you Thought High School Alone was Tough…