A Season for Seniors

With the excitement of senior year also comes the stress of college applications. Seniors across the nation take on the task of choosing colleges to attend for the next four and preparing applications that present them well enough to receive admission to their desired institutions. However, this school’s seniors have shown that there are many different paths on the college admission journey.

One of the seemingly common pathways that this year’s seniors have taken is a more simple one. Senior Jackson Carman intentionally applied to only one college for a reason. “I always dreamed of being an Arkansas Razorback ever since I was a kid. When I finally had the chance to apply, I just knew that it was the only school I wanted to go to.”

Having his heart set on only one school, Carman was able to divert the stress of college applications for the most part. He said, “It definitely was a big help already knowing where I was going because there is already enough stress with the stuff for college that it would make it even worse if I didn’t know where I was going.” 

Many seniors like Carman followed this same path and were able to focus solely on their schoolwork. However, for others, that wasn’t the case. At the beginning of the school year, senior Charlie Henry set out to ensure that he had as many options of colleges as possible. Henry ended up applying to nine different universities, which is a difficult thing to accomplish. However, he prepared himself for the task. He said, “The summer going into senior year, I took a college essay and resume boot camp class which helped a ton.”

Henry’s preparation for the journey ahead started long before the beginning of his senior year. He said, “I tried to keep high grades from the beginning. I took the SAT and ACT at the start of my junior year.” Because of this decision to get an early start, Henry reaped the benefits of his hard work and determination. However, there were obstacles along the way.

“The college application process definitely took some of my attention away from schoolwork,” said Henry. Even though the stress of the process caused him to slightly struggle with his schoolwork, Henry made sure to always veer away from those tendencies the best that he could. “The best way to combat it is to just have a better mindset about it. If I’m tackling work thinking ‘Well, I don’t even care about school work when I’m doing work for college,’ then my grades are probably going to slip a bit.”

After going through the entire college admissions process, Henry was able to find the perfect place for himself at Southern Methodist University. Even though applying to nine different colleges seems a tad eccentric, Henry had the opportunity to choose the best fit for him from his college acceptances.

What most people might not realize is that there is a completely different side to the college application process. For seniors like Luke Cooper, their focus on the college application process was more focused on where they would excel best at playing the sport they love. Cooper said, “I really just applied to two schools because I knew that I wanted to play [basketball].”

Cooper recently committed to Rhodes College to play basketball for the next four years. For student-athletes, the preparation for college applications is slightly different. In order to commit to a college sport, Cooper believes that student-athletes should have certainty about the decision. He said, “Just be certain that you want to play a sport at the next level and focus on that.”

The college application process can seem like a wearisome endeavor. But, if a student takes the right steps in preparing for it, then the process will end up being a much smoother experience. Henry said, “Take as many early steps as you can because little opportunities that you take now can go a long way later.”

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