A perspective on anxiety and the college application process


Photo by Taylor Gurtman

Bella Williams ringing the bell after sending in her college application.

“Start your college applications over the summer!” teachers, parents, and upperclassman had warned the Aspen High School class of 2020 in the spring of their junior year. The majority of them disregarded that suggestion, choosing to enjoy their summers instead. Next thing they knew, the school year had begun, and the application deadlines were fast approaching. The phrase “I’M STRESSED!” starting to echo through the halls of AHS.

Flash forward to the last roundtable before the applications are due when many AHS students will quickly finish up their college essays, activities, etc. With pounding hearts and shakey hands, the student will march up the stairs to the Mezzanine. Finally, with the help of Charlie or Karen, they will click the submit button and the application is off, traveling into an unknown land. It moves through a black hole, passing through space and time until it finally reaches the most haunting place of all: the office of admissions.

All control is lost — no more editing, reviewing, or pretending to work on the application while simultaneously watching Netflix. Just when they think the stress is over, the students are left with a shocking revelation, they now have another layer of anxiety to contend with––the dreaded waiting period. Some students at AHS claim they will never feel at ease until they know where they are going to college. And when that day arrives, they will finally be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy their last few months of high school.

Whether students are getting ready to apply or have already applied, they will be experiencing an amalgam of emotions – from nail-biting worry to excitement about their future. Most people don’t plan on repeating senior year, and therefore, need to do their best to enjoy their final months at AHS, relishing in the last homecoming, prom, football game, eating the beloved chocolate chip cookies in the cafe, and even hearing Strauss telling students to hurry up and get to class. Although it’s easier said than done, try not to let the pressure of the frightening college application process take away from a year of unforgettable memories and final moments with childhood best friends.