Senior year anxiety is setting in, early

dbroussardresize1.jpgHi everyone! I’ve been busier in this last semester of junior year than in the rest of my high school years put together! As the school year comes to a close, I become more anxious and apprehensive about the future. I feel as though I’m ready to leave high school, yet at the same time I want to hold on to it. These years have passed by so quickly.

It also amazes me how great it is to see that nearly me and all of my peers have begun the process of college admissions so early. As we speak, I am contemplating which top ten schools I am interested in applying to in the week deadline given to me by my mom and step-mom.

Of course, I have been looking into various schools for about a year now, but it is somewhat overwhelming. Since the school that I attend will influence my entire future, any questions float in my head: Which school is right for me? What if I apply to all of these schools and I’m rejected by all of them? What if I am rejected by my dream school or cannot afford to attend?

Luckily for me I have all of your help. Most of you have been there done that, so feel free to leave opinions, stories, suggestions, or cold hard facts and knowledge. Thanks and Happy Blogging!


  • Katy Murphy

    What schools are you considering? Will you have a chance to visit the ones on your short list?

    Looking back, I’m amazed at how little I actually looked into the specific academic programs at the schools I considered. I agonized plenty over the decision, but focused almost entirely on reputation (which ones were supposedly the hardest to get into), the size of the student body, and my gut feeling when I visited the campus.

    I’m sure I’d have a different set of criteria now. But then again, I’m 30, not 18, and I think I made the right choice anyway.

    I still remember all of the advice we got in high school about making sure we applied to “safety schools” and “stretch schools” — and those in between. So maybe it’s not such a bad thing if you take some risks and end up being rejected by a school or two.

  • Isabel Rodriguez-Vega

    Katy, what college did you go to?

  • Caroline

    The tales from my generation (I’m a baby boomer, age 54) are kind of bitterly amusing compared to today’s madness. One good friend went to Oberlin — the only place she applied initially, because she knew someone going there. (She actually transferred to UC Santa Barbara for a semester, UC Berkeley for a semester and then back to finish at Oberlin). The notion of a “college search” was unknown to her, and to most of us. My Oberlin alum friend was just telling me about that because we’re both parents of juniors.

    (I went to College of Marin and then Sonoma State because I had free rent in a funky house my mom owned in Mill Valley, so I wanted to commute. But I ended up moving to Cotati anyway because of a boyfriend. Applied carelessly to UC Berkeley somewhere along the way too and got in, but decided not to go.)

    Yesterday I dropped my son off to take his SAT 2 subject tests, and then met up with a friend for a dogwalk — yet another mom of a junior. I said casually, “So is (her kid) taking SATs today too?” — and she stopped short and gasped. They had forgotten all about it. Really it’s no big deal — he can take them in the fall — but it demonstrates the angst around all this.

    I have a blog on college admissions, btw — http://www.collegeadmissionsbeast.com

  • Katy Murphy

    I went to Notre Dame, in South Bend, Indiana — about a two-hour drive from where I grew up.

  • Nextset

    You won’t be rejected by your schools if you spread your applications over good, better & best. This is not an issue.

    If you are anxious it’s because your childhood has ended and you know your actions have real consequences. Don’t try to prolong the agony. Childhood is over now.

    You have to get real advice from people who you have calculated know what they are talking about – which depending on the issue may absolutely not include your parents – and make a decision. And that’s nerve wracking, to not be able to depend on your parents judgment any more at some point on some things. It’s like the training wheels are falling off and now it’s up to you and your judgment.

    For the time being it’s “only” college and not whether or not to have a surgical procedure – but you will have to make decisions all the time now that a child of 16 doesn’t have to make. If you are nervous that will probably pass. But, you might notice a certain longing for age 16 from time to time.

    And if we’d told you this is how it would feel years ago you wouldn’t have believed us.

    Good luck, if your education was a good one you have the foundation upon which to rely. In time, you will look back at secondary education with a different perspective and have a better understanding of some of the writers on this blog.

  • Nextset

    Oh and Diamond, I’m not knocking your parents who I don’t know – it’s all parents… You are a new generation coming of age. The decisions you are put to are your own, and your life will start taking you into issues your parents aren’t current in. A child takes comfort in knowing that Mommy and Daddy can fix any splinter are scrape. When Childhood’s gone, you see yourself getting into things that your parents aren’t expert in – and you realize (for the first time) the party’s over. (I watch adolescents in criminal court realize this when they have do decide to plead for 2 years in prison or go to trial facing a minimum of 20 years if guilty – and they hate the thought of going to prison. Boo Hoo… it’s sooo hard to decide!!)

    Now there are certain pleasures in adulthood that compensate for painful freedom. And you will look at the rest of us adults who have been through all this with a new appreciation, I think.

    Do your calculations about what colleges to apply to and stop worrying about it. Master Anxiety by doing enough research on a decision to feel competent.

    Good luck in your new life as an almost adult.

  • Sue

    I’m probably the same age as your parents, so, like Nextset said, I don’t have the experiences to be much help. In the middle of my senior year of h.s. I sent out an early application to my first choice college. While I was still working on apps to my 2nd choice and my safety school, I got the acceptance notice from my first choice. So, I didn’t even bother finishing the other two apps.

    I’ve posted here before about how my first attempt at college didn’t work out so well, so we won’t go through it again. I got myself a second chance, and did complete my degree, eventually. It’s not the best or easiest way to do things, but it’s still possible.

    From what I’ve seen of your writing here, you’re going to be just fine, and you’re going to find your way to a happy and successful life. So, the only thing I can say with any certainty is: relax, enjoy your summer, enjoy your senior year with your friends. As much as possible, stay in the present, and try not to worry too much about the future.

  • Diamond Broussard

    I wish to apply to 8 schools: Spelman College, Howard University, Parsons Schoool for Design, UC Berkeley, UCLA, NYU, and Drexel_ maybe even Clark Atlanta U, but my mom says it’s a party school. I’ve also been thinking about applying to SF State.

    Thanks for your suggestions Nextset, and I didn’t think you were getting at my parents. I do realize that I have to be realistic about the schools that I apply to in correspondence with my academic achievements. My parents have also told me to stop having so much anxiety.

    Yes, I’m fully embracing my coming of age. I cannot wait to begin my application process. I am anxious about which school will accept me and which one I’ll accept but I’m taking things one at a time. So, bring it on Senior Year!