Stevenson Spotlight 2.0 | Admissions Season
Posted on 12/14/2015
Stevenson Spotlight 2.0

The December edition of the Spotlight 2.0 has columnist Autumn Miller giving an insider's view of what the modern college application process feels like to a high school senior.

Admissions Season by Autumn Miller, '16


           As December finally hits the world in full-swing, the Stevenson student body has their armor made of puffy coats and mittens fully prepared (besides this teasing 60 degree weather), and their minds in the mentality of the holiday season. Wrapping gifts for our loved ones, eating all the cookies to our heart’s desire, binge-watching Christmas movies until- whoops, we see that it’s already 3:15 am- are familiar things that work hand-in-hand with this month. Another word, unfortunately, that also seems to perfectly sum up this time of year, is stressful. All of you other college-bound seniors out there, I know you understand where I’m coming from with this one. December, whether we like it or not, is the month where a good chunk of the colleges that we applied to and want to go to so-ever badly, let us know if they want us back.

        The entire admissions process is nothing less than nauseating. In order to explain it as simply as possible, I must say that each part of it seems to happen in set increments of time, much like the seasons. Though the summer before senior year should be spent making money, spending time with friends, and going on legendary adventures- it’s chock-full of thinking of reasons on why the University of So-and-So should want you, and questioning if spending reading hours of YA literature does, in fact, count as an extracurricular. Being the diligent and determined 17 year old that I am, I cannot express how much of my summer was dedicated to anything that didn’t involve helping my chances into getting into my university of choice. Hours of my time on gorgeous, sunny days were spent completing the Common App inside of a noisy Starbucks, and writing essays for schools that expected nothing less than 500 words from me. The entire point of summer vacation is quite self-explanatory- it’s to have a vacation. Vacations imply breaks, and typing furiously away on my laptop while trying to get my transcripts processed at the same time isn’t really a break. In the end though, we tell ourselves that this is for something much bigger than a few hours of pain and misery, so we keep typing away, eager for success.

        As the days grow shorter and the air begins to make your cheeks rosy, fall starts and the school year begins. Going into senior year, I always pictured that it would be like any teenage romcom I’ve ever seen- effortless, exciting, and somehow always repping a varsity jacket, regardless of the temperature. This, however, was one of the true times I was very wrong about something in life (and being the stubborn person I am, admitting this says a lot.) Fall, much like summer, was spent worrying about keeping my grades up, taking the ACT one more time, and double-checking that I added all of the activities that I participate in onto my apps. The only difference between these two seasons were that, with fall finally here, I could now start the finalizing process of completing my applications. Having my Lit teacher edit my essays more times than she probably ever had to (I send endless “thank-yous” to you, Ms. Schuch) and double-checking that I spelled my own name right were little things that filled my time, but they were things that finally came to a halt. All of the weight that sat on my shoulders for a season and then some was finally lifted the moment that I sent in the applications that could majorly determine my future, one cool night in late October.

        With Christmas around the corner and only one decent snowfall so far, winter will hit us seniors like a sack of bricks. While everyone around us is sucking the marrow out of the holidays and spending nights nestled by the fire, the Class of 2016 is eagerly and anxiously biting their fingernails away until they are nearly gone. We spend time checking our emails and mailboxes in hopes of seeing a “congratulations” somewhere in the subject line or on the top of an envelope, and we beg that these schools will see all the potential in us that we know we have. All of our past grades, accomplishments, and hard work during our 12 plus years of schooling will lead to the moment that we hope we’ve been granted our acceptance.

        The admissions process can best be explained in a seasonal manner, with different levels of stress defining each one. With all humor aside, though, I’ve learned that I can’t let myself panic over waiting for an ultimate decision. I know that I have done all that I’ve can to, hopefully, have all odds in my favor, and I know that no matter what I do, there will always still be some level of uncertainty. It’s all about wearing your best armor, like the thick coats mentioned before, and being willing to face whatever is thrown at you. Though it’s incredibly cliché, I know that I’ll end up wherever I’m supposed to be, and worrying will not aid in anything at all. So, fellow seniors, I wish for you to let all of your university worries go, and may the only thing that keeps you up at night this holiday season be whether to make coffee or hot cocoa for yourself in the morning.