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Grade 12 students reflect on college applications, experiences with senioritis


Sara Kim (’24) said she began her college application journey the summer before Grade 12 “with the expectation in mind that it was going to be a stressful process,” so she could feel better prepared when returning to school in the fall.

“It was definitely a difficult process,” Kim said. “I really had to focus on organization and time management skills in order to reduce the stress caused by everything I had to do.”

Sara Khan (’24) said the first semester of Grade 12 was hectic, as her “schedule constantly felt overwhelming” due to all of her responsibilities.

“I felt extremely intimidated as I started the application process,” Khan said. “I often felt like there wasn’t enough time in the day for me to finish everything I needed to do.”

University Adviser Anne Richardson said the stress of college applications is not to be underestimated.

“For seniors, the process of college applications is almost like adding another class to their schedule,” Richardson said. “It’s a lot. A lot of deadlines, a lot of writing and a lot of researching.”

Martin Gimenez (’24) said although the stress throughout the process was often overwhelming, he used coping mechanisms to manage the effects it inevitably caused. For Gimenez, sports helped diffuse the tension of his busy schedule.

“Football often acted as a distraction from all the other things I had to do, so it really helped a lot,” Gimenez said.

Likewise, Kim said team sports were beneficial as they provided a space to simultaneously socialize and exercise. Kim said receiving support from the people around her significantly helped her manage the pressure she was facing.

“I was lucky to have so many people helping me throughout the application process,” Kim said. “It was definitely stressful to try to manage all the work I had to do, but the support of other people, like my teammates and teachers, made the process a lot easier.”

Echoing Kim, Khan said her role on the varsity volleyball team relieved a lot of the pressure caused by her other responsibilities during the first semester.

“Because I’m so passionate about volleyball, I was able to really enjoy the time I spent at practice,” Khan said. “This helped me balance out the stress and pressure I often felt throughout the rest of the day.”

Although Kim attempted to relieve her stress surrounding applications, she said anxiety still consumed the first semester of her Grade 12 year. Nonetheless, she said she felt her hard work was worthwhile when she finally submitted her college applications.

Gimenez said after he received a university acceptance at the end of the first semester, it felt as though a weight had been lifted off his shoulders.

“I just felt extremely relieved,” Gimenez said. “It was such a good end to an otherwise stressful time.”

Throughout Richardson’s experiences guiding students through the application process, she said students feel great satisfaction when the journey comes to an end. However, Richardson said though this sense of relief is well-deserved, it shouldn’t be taken lightly or dissuade students from continuing to work hard throughout their second semester.

“For some seniors, the second semester is a time for them to turn their attention to other responsibilities, such as their course grades, Human Rights papers, and Design and Thinking projects,” Richardson said. “However, some simply want the opportunity to relax, and that’s often when senioritis kicks in.”

Richardson said this lack of motivation often manifests itself during the Add/Drop period, as some Grade 12 students take advantage of the opportunity to drop an excessive number of their challenging classes. However, Richardson said it’s crucial to keep in mind that universities expect accepted students to maintain a high standard of achievement even after having received their decisions.

Similarly, Gimenez said the importance of demonstrating success in his classes during the second semester is still high.

“While my stress surrounding school has significantly dropped since receiving my college acceptance, to a certain extent, I still have to worry about my classes and put effort into receiving good grades,” Gimenez said.

Similarly, Khan said while some students may already know what their futures hold post-graduation, others continue feeling anxious as they await university acceptances.

“I feel a different kind of stress beginning the last semester of senior year, as now I’m just waiting for my college decisions to be released,” Khan said.

As the Class of 2024’s last year in High School draws to a close, Khan said she is beginning to reflect on her time at the school with contradicting emotions.

“As I look towards graduation, I am trying to find ways to thank all the people at ASL who have helped me become the person I am today,” Khan said. “I don’t necessarily want to say goodbye, but I am looking forward to thanking my friends, teachers and family for everything they have done for me the past four years.”

Ultimately, Richardson said the second semester of Grade 12 is both a difficult and meaningful transition period for students. Thus, she said it’s important to commemorate students’ accomplishments throughout the span of these last few months.

“Graduation is a time for celebration,” Richardson said. “I really hope that as the seniors this year walk the graduation stage, they see it less as an ending of their time at ASL, and instead as a commencement of their futures.”

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About the Contributor
Audrey Cushman, Reporter
Audrey Cushman ('26) is a Reporter for The Standard in Advanced Journalism.

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