Distracting deadlines

Students can receive more help around college deadlines

Students have to survive their college application deadlines while keeping up with their classwork.

Students have to survive their college application deadlines while keeping up with their classwork.

Deadlines that high school seniors everywhere dread the most have officially passed: college applications. Application deadlines are the most stressful days a student can experience, especially for the procrastinators and last-minute submitters. 

For students in FCPS, this time of the year is especially stressful. Not only do we have to deal with college application deadlines, but also the end of the second quarter.

With the end of the quarter comes a never-ending load of final homework assignments, tests, projects, and midterms. Time management is key in order to survive such a workload. 

Submitting our applications and ensuring that we send in our very best work to colleges is such a crucial point in our lives. Where we end up after high school will have such an influential impact on our lives, so it is difficult to manage all of this while we are receiving tons of work.

Blue Brushstroke Moms Influencer Asymmetry Instagram Post Set by Rebeka R

I think that teachers should definitely lessen the workload around college application deadlines since most seniors are extremely stressed from the pressure of applying to college and writing essays so having to juggle that with a lot of schoolwork worsens an already draining situation,” senior Jacob Paikin said. 

Teachers should be more supportive while we are going through such a stressful process. It is understandable that they have to follow the curriculum, however, trying their best to make the college application process less stressful would only be contributing to our future success.

I think teachers could consult with students about application deadlines and try to ensure that no major assessments or projects are due within a week of these deadlines,” Paikin said. “Teachers could also be more cognizant of the application by giving students one or two days of extra time to turn in a paper if there is an upcoming application deadline.”

If teachers would be able to plan around the week before college apps are due, possibly assign more work the week before, then this would allow students to have more time to focus on submitting everything on time. 

“I was really stressed around the major college deadlines both because of the essays and the general anxiety of choosing where to apply. Most of my teachers accommodated these deadlines by giving free days and avoiding giving major assessments, but unfortunately, there were a couple of teachers that ignored these deadlines,” Paikin said.

Even postponing tests or having them before the week leading up to a deadline would be a positive way to support us through the college application process. 

“What I do with my AP Research class… our due dates are based on the College Board calendar, so we just work around those and none of those due dates fall around any of the college deadlines,” AP Research and English teacher Annie Billingsley said. 

Another method of reducing stress would be to provide a class solely dedicated to applying to college. In some cases, students are not aware of the deadlines or requirements that are needed while applying to college. Most students were making a desperate attempt to submit their transcript form on the very last day they were due, just because they were unaware of such a requirement.

MHS does provide services to facilitate the college application process.

“The college admissions process can be stressful as there are many pieces to juggle at one time,” counselor Deb You said. “So, it is important as a counselor to ensure that I support my students step-by-step to reduce any potential stressors that they may be facing.”

Although Student Services provides numerous services, it can be better accessible. Having mandatory Highlander Time 8 senior meetings or an elective that centers around the college application process would be beneficial for all seniors.

The first semester of this class can focus on the actual application process and making sure that students receive information on important deadlines. Also, giving students designated time to work on their apps is a great way to promote productivity. Having an adviser while given the opportunity to work on apps is a great resource that the school should provide.

The second semester could focus on scholarship opportunities or even professional workplace skills to continue to provide lessons that will help the students years after they graduate from MHS.

Overall, there are many different ways that the school and staff could help make the college application process less stressful, especially with the challenging curriculums that MHS has to offer. A plan to give out less work the week before common apps are due or even a class dedicated to applying to college can go a long way for a student’s success in the future.