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The student news site of Stockbridge High School

Uncaged

The student news site of Stockbridge High School

Uncaged

College madness

Seniors face stress of life after high school
College madness
Kaitlyn Oversmith

It’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing, the temperatures dropping, and college deadlines are creeping closer. Applications are rolling in and everyone is feeling the pressure – senior students, advisors and of course, the colleges themselves. And the madness of it all is just beginning.

I’m very stressed about applying to colleges, you know, I still have to write my essay, and try to get scholarships,” senior Taylor Lockhart said. “And it’s just kind of overwhelming.”

The final year of high school has just begun for senior students, and already the scramble to figure out the next step has started. A common issue, however, is students are unsure how to start the process. Senior Via Hoard, for example, already has her acceptance letter to Eastern Michigan University. Whereas other students didn’t even know early acceptance existed. This confusion seems to be the general consensus among the student body. 

“Yeah, it’s just a lot of us not understanding,” senior Casey Brown said. “And not knowing what we’re doing.”

Stockbridge high school does offer assistance with this in the form of our new college advisor, Rachel Zemla, and the occasional arranged college visit. However, outside of those, there are mixed opinions on whether what they’re doing is enough to prepare senior students for what’s ahead. Some think that they should be doing more. 

“I would say the school, overall, doesn’t really prepare you much,” Lockhart said. “They don’t really tell you how to apply to colleges, you know, what you should do, what you should say,”

Others think it’s sufficient.

“Along with the advisor, a lot of the staff and teachers are helping us out as well,” Brown said. “They do a lot with helping us discover different options after high school, you know, whether that be college, trade school, or whatever. They’ve helped us get a better idea of what college life is like, as well.”

Whether the school has been accommodating or not, students have been preparing in their own ways. Some are doing dual enrollment.

“I am currently dual enrolling,” Lockhart said. “Trying to get some of my first year credits done.”

Dual enrollment isn’t everyones cup of tea, however, not everyone likes how independent they are. In that case, AP classes are another popular option among students.

“AP classes help prepare you for the course load,” Queen said. “And if you pass the exams now, it saves you from having to pay in full for a college class.”

It’s not just high level classes that are preparing students for what’s next, classes like Leadership are proving to be helpful as well. 

“We’ve done a lot in [Leadership] with planning where we want to go to college,” Brown said. “And what we want to do as well as looking at scholarships.” 

There are a lot of different routes to take when trying to get ready for what’s next, but no matter if it’s college classes, college tours, or college advisors, anxiety levels are high and rising. 

“I’m very stressed,” Queen said. “It’s like all I think about.”

Seniors aren’t the only ones feeling the pressure, however. Rachel Zemla, our newest college advisor, agrees that tensions are high. It seems that this anxiety goes both ways. 

“This is my first year as an advisor,” Zemla said. “But, typically, around this time of year, it would be a lot more stressful for advisors.” 

Zemla says she’s got her hands full with planning rep visits, getting to know students, doing her own orientations and settling into her new job. In comparison to later in the year, she says her work is nearly doubled right now. That’s why she says she understands and is empathetic to the amount of pressure seniors are under right now. 

“I think students, specifically seniors, are stressed around this time of year. There’s a lot going on with college applications, scholarships, you’re already taking classes as well as your extracurriculars and jobs,” Zemla said. “And that’s a lot for anyone to handle.”

That’s what Zemla says she’s here for, though. To help seniors figure out their future and calm their anxieties of what’s to come. 

“Life after high school can seem overwhelming,” Zemla said. “But I’m here to be a resource for students to use when they are worried and confused.”

All this stress is worth it, though, according to Eastern college student Makayla Myers. She says that the process of getting into college is scary, and different for everyone, but she couldn’t be more happy with her decision. 

“I remember what it was like,” Myers said. “But I promise it’s worth it. Going to college is the best decision I’ve ever made.”

 

Myers says that while she definitely has her fair share of work, working two jobs, taking part in mock trials, and building her way up to a law degree, she feels more fulfilled than ever before. She says she’s formed tighter, more close knit relationships, she’s matured and gotten to know herself better, and is finally working towards something that she’s been striving for since high school. Myers says that going to college was a part of adulting. She was responsible for herself now, there wouldn’t be anyone to hold her hand, but she says it’s what she needed. 

“I made some stupid decisions my freshman year,” Myers said. “But I learned from them, and I’m better for it now.” 

Myers says that college can seem daunting, that from applying to actually attending it’s a frightening, stressful process, but in the end it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself.

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About the Contributor
Kaitlyn Oversmith, Reporter
For the first and last time, Kaitlyn Oversmith is an Uncaged reporter for the 2023-24 school year. Besides recently joining the world of Journalism, she is also a member of NHS. Outside of school, Kaitlyn enjoys reading and movies, particularly in the horror genre. She has also been a competitive dancer for the past twelve years and is currently preparing for her last show. After high school, Kaitlyn aspires to be a lawyer and hopes to eventually attend U of M for law school.
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