Dear Seniors,

By Kelly Iskra

Staff Writer, Editor

Senior year. It’s the year where reality starts to set in, decisions are made, and everyday routines start coming to an end. As we approach the final stretch of our highschool careers, most of us can agree that this time of year is especially demanding. Assignments and other priorities are piling up, but, most importantly, the stress of applying to college looms over us.

Whether you know what you want to do with your life or have absolutely no idea, the application process is tough. The only topic of conversation with family and even friends seems to be college. Although all valid questions, it becomes frustrating and quite intimidating hearing the same questions on repeat: "Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? How are you going to afford it? Are you going to be able to find a job doing that?" If you’re like me, the doubt and criticism from others causes you to second guess your plans. For some reason, everyone’s opinions, whether positive or negative, seem credible. Instantly, the career path that you have worked towards begins to seem impractical and blatantly wrong.

Perhaps the application process wouldn’t be so stressful if it were our only focus, but it’s not. In an effort to stand out from other applicants, the numerous sports, clubs, and extracurriculars that we are involved in grab our immediate attention. For most of us, this means that the tasks pertaining to our college applications get pushed to the side. However, the time has now come where completing the seemingly endless list of résumés, essays, and questions cannot be delayed any further. We are forced to figure out a way to balance our workload from school with our workload from extracurriculars and applications. Deadlines are quickly approaching, and the stress is higher than ever to find the time of day to perfect our applications while still maintaining our performance in everything else.

To some extent, we all have some pressure put on us. The pressure from colleges to get good grades while being involved in a wide range of activities. The pressure from parents to get into a top notch school. The pressure you put on yourself to challenge yourself so that you can unlock as many opportunities as possible.

In just a few short months, we will commit to a school and we will say our goodbyes to this roller-coaster ride called "high school." It can be scary to think about, but we will all have to take a leap of faith and accept that there are infinite possibilities that can happen. The truth is, whether you end up going to your "dream school" or not, you will find your place. You will make new friends, find new interests, make some mistakes along the way, and continue to grow. If you take anything away from this article, let it be this: do what makes you happy because this is your future. With hard work and perseverance, you can achieve more than you know.