College applications have seniors at their most stressed


The season is here for seniors to reflect on college options. Credit: Anna Lapteva / The Foothill Dragon Press

Jill Vallance

Just as junior year’s testing is finished and classes come to a conclusion, the infamous senior year burden creeps out of hidingーcollege applications. When asked about the college application process, many seniors may empathize with Ryan Sequeira’s ‘19 words: “it’s definitely a process.”

“It feels like everything is coming at me at once,” Sequeira said.

The college application period is regarded by teachers and students alike as one of the more demanding aspects of high school.

As neither of her parents attended college, Bailey Dent ‘19 feels that for her, “it’s a whole new world.”

To encourage easy transitions for Dragons into college culture, Foothill takes many measures in preparing students for college starting from even freshman year.

For example, Naviance, a website introduced to ninth graders through the freshman course “College & Career Seminar via Computer Literacy,” aids students in navigating college and career options.

Caroline Kirtley ‘19 strongly encourages students to use Naviance to their advantage.

“I think it’s really good for people to revisit it even if they are not a senior yet,” Kirtley advised. “There’s a lot of us that didn’t, and now we’re like ‘we should have went backwe shouldn’t have waited this long.’”

To help guide students in using Naviance and through the college process as a whole, Media Center Specialist Darcy Duffy and ASB Adviser and English teacher Melanie “Captain” Lindsey are always ready to assist.

“I feel pretty well prepared, especially because this year, Mrs. Duffy and Captain are doing a really good job of helping us with essays, how to use Naviance and get our transcripts,” Lauren Kearney ‘19 said.

Dent, Sequeira and Kearney were in consensus that writing effective and fresh essays was the most challenging part of the application process.

“I’m getting bored of filling out my personal information and typing up essays that are very repetitive and feel like I’m bragging about myself,” Kearney said.

“I feel like that’s really hard[]telling everybody who I am through a 750-word essay,” Dent shared.

“You have to really dive deep into what makes you and your aspirations for the next four years of your life,” Sequeira explained. “That’s a very tough process for some.”

Just as every individual has different work ethics, every senior has a different way of tackling their applications.

Before starting applications, Kirtley is using every resource possible to get better acquainted with her colleges of interest.

“I’m researching everything I can,” she said. “I am using their website. I am using when they come to the media center,” Kirtley said.

Kirtley strongly emphasized the importance of taking advantage of college visits to the media center: “I am going to every single one that I can fit into my schedule, [because] they tell you a lot of really good things that you just can’t find on the website.”

Sequeira’s strategy is “breaking it into smaller, easier to manage chunks” by scheduling when to write and answer essays and short answers, pacing himself in order to avoid “dump[ing] it all in one week.”

Kearney has decided to stride head-on and incorporate every aspect of herself, focusing on academics, community service and athletics.



Dent found that reserving 30 minutes a night to focus on her college needs fulfills everything she needs to complete. The only thing she would have done differently is start getting organized over the summer, rather than at the beginning of her senior year.

Similar to Dent, Kearney advises students to “get them done early.”

“If you have a school in mind, reach out to either their admissions [officers] or the dean of the major you want to do,” she said. “If you’re an athlete, reach out to the coaches.”

Despite the inherent hardships that come with the application process, Dent has an optimistic outlook on the outcome.

“I just look at it as one step closer to my educationーone day it will all be worth it.”

What do you think?