College Application Process


Sarah Villanueva, Features Editor

For some seniors, college applications have been relevant since junior year, or even as early as freshman year. These students have been working hard to make themselves stand out to college admission boards across the country through their grades, extracurricular activities, volunteer hours, etc. Is the pressure of trying to be the best of the best too much on high school seniors?

As a senior myself, I understand the pressure of the college application process firsthand. I believed I had not done enough to stand out to like my peers, and this process took a toll on me. I grew this sense of self-doubt, and it altered the confidence I had in the work I had done throughout my time at West.

After speaking with my fellow peers, I realized that this was not an individual experience I had. When asked, “At any time during your applications, did you ever compare yourself to your peers or feel like you hadn’t done enough to stand out?” Senior Maya Gill passionately responded, “Yeah, definitely. I feel like my grades impacted my applications, and even though I knew I had great extra-curriculars, I still felt like I had not done enough to stand out.”

When asked the same question, Senior Raina Dent said, “Yeah. I do not have a lot of extra-curriculars, but the few I had, I stayed consistent with throughout all four years. I had peers who only did extra-curriculars for a month or so just to put it on their applications. Even though they showed that they were not as committed, they did more than I did.”

Another insecurity that many, including myself, dealt with during the process is not applying to a school with the fear of rejection. When questioned, “What was the hardest part about the process, mentally?” Gill added, “Just believing in myself. Sometimes, I would be too scared to apply to a certain school cause I thought to myself, ‘There’s no way I’m getting in’. This has now made me regret not applying to certain schools just because of my fear of rejection.” Dent also said, “I think just knowing that I probably won’t get in, but at least I tried.”

From this, it is evident the pressure that the college application process brings forth for students like me. The feeling of not being “good enough” can affect the schools you choose to apply to or the majors you pick.

There might never be a point in the process that you feel fully confident in the work you have done, but the best thing you can do is try and acknowledge that each one of us is on our own journeys, paving the pathways for our success, which may look different from the ones around us.