College application secrecy helps no one

It’s that time of year again: freshmen sheepishly roaming the halls, sophomores happy they aren’t the lowest echelon of the WHS food chain, juniors momentarily optimistic before the infamous “junior year” catches up with them and seniors thinking they rule the school. Even though senior year is supposed to be the most relaxed year in high school, the first semester is consumed by fighting off the demon that causes countless sleepless nights, panic attacks and anxiety: college applications.

Applying to college, for those who pursue a higher education, is arguably the most stressful part of high school. Many primarily strive for academic excellence and do extracurricular activities in order to elevate their college applications, proving that they are competitive students. Throughout our time at WHS, we have worked together to study for finals, worked on posters for group projects and nervously anticipated those oral presentations.

Despite all this, when discussing college applications with other classmates, I find others guard their college essays or keep where they are applying to a secret. Instead, we should all communicate and collaborate on the college admissions process.

Through discussing why people are applying to certain colleges, we share our own “college research,” revealing small, under-the-radar private schools that could be the dream school. Without that discussion, people could miss the opportunity to attend the best college for them.

The biggest part of the college applications process that people do not want to share is their essays. I understand that people can read and practically copy others’ essays; however, students in AP Literature and Composition already have to peer edit a college essay.

Also, people want to see their friends achieve. Through bouncing around ideas and catching key mistakes, these peer-reviewed essays can be the difference between admission and rejection from the school of their dreams.

Outside of the different components of applying to college, discussion among friends relieves a lot of the stress of college admission. Having my friends and family support me throughout this college admission process and venting with my friends until midnight has made the last month significantly easier.

The next couple months are going to be full of challenges and sleepless nights (thanks procrastination), but collaboration will make the process less intimidating, and the friendships and memories will transcend the next four years in college. Nevertheless, whether or not the results are in our favor, we should be proud of the process, rather than the outcome.

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