The beginning of the school year means something different for every grade level. Sixth graders face the change between middle and high school, and they learn how to manage a newfound degree of independence. For ninth-graders, the transition from middle school to high school is immense, and it marks a new period in their lives where they begin to be treated like adults and where their academic choices hold important consequences. Most importantly, the transition from eleventh to twelfth grade is one of the largest adjustments for any high schooler because this marks the period of the college application season. This year, the class of 2020 put forth a remarkable amount of time and effort into their applications in order to get accepted into the schools they hope to attend in the fall.
The college application process isn’t an easy one, and although many people believe that senior year is the easiest year, it’s actually considered to be one of the most difficult due to the fact that students must maintain their grades while spending countless hours writing and perfecting essays that will make or break their college dreams. The seniors also must continue to stay involved in the school by participating in activities and assuming leadership roles to show colleges that the laziness associated with senioritis has not hit them, for colleges want hard-working students to attend their schools. The application season begins in the summer once essay prompts are released from Common and Coalition applications, and the latest deadline hits on January 1st, meaning that for most of the first semester, the seniors are focused on both their schoolwork and filling out applications.
The most relieving part of the college application process is finding out the results. Many Class of 2020 seniors were anxiously waiting for their results because they wanted the satisfaction of knowing what colleges they were going to attend. One of the first colleges that released acceptances was Florida International University, starting in October, and this college gave many accepted seniors a sense of relief because it meant they would have an acclaimed state University to attend in the fall. As time passed on, more and more colleges released their decisions, and more students have been cheering because they’ve been getting into schools.
A lot of students have gotten into their “dream” schools, which is the college that they want to attend in the future, and for some, a goal they have been working towards for the past four years. One senior, Hanna Cohen, was admitted to her dream school, the Savannah College of Art and Design. When she found out her application was accepted in October, she was ecstatic. “When SCAD released their decisions, and I found out that I got in, I felt such a sense of relief that my dream school wanted me to attend. Even better, I got a scholarship, which shows me that they really think I’m qualified, and it makes me feel good as an art student.” For art schools, students are recommended to send in a portfolio in order to be considered for a scholarship. Receiving a scholarship for a school that a student wants to attend is always a good feeling. Another student, Gabrielle Kurzer, got into her dream school as well, Northwestern University. When asked how she felt about getting into the school, she responded, “I worked so much my entire high school career to get to this point in my life. When I found out that Northwestern accepted me into their Early Decision program, I was so happy because Northwestern is such a difficult school to get into. It feels amazing to know that my hard work paid off, and it feels so great to know that I am going to love my college experience once I get to attend Northwestern with Myles Gilbert, who also got in.” When asked for advice on what to do for a college application, Gabi said, “Be yourself. Colleges want to see who you are as a person, so don’t make anything up. They’ll love you for who you are.”
As the year continues to go on, more colleges are releasing decisions, and by the beginning of May, all seniors must commit to a college, ending the entire application process. For now, students and faculty alike are celebrating the class of 2020’s acceptances as they are released. When the seniors walk in their commencement ceremony, they will be reminded of all of the hard work they put in to get to the college or program they will attend in the future, and all of them will smile as they see that their tenacious work throughout all of high school has paid off for the best, marking an end to their high school careers and the beginning of the class of 2021’s journey as a class of seniors embarking on the application process.