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Surviving First Quarter Senior Year

“It’s like everything’s collapsing down on me at once,” shared Senior Class Vice President Kate Campbell. Her workload while balancing college applications, a school sport, clubs, and other obligations has been overwhelming.
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Nathaniel Seaman
College apps, grades and extracurriculars can feel overwhelming to seniors.

“It’s like everything’s collapsing down on me at once,” shared Senior Class Vice President Kate Campbell. Her workload while balancing college applications, a school sport, clubs, and other obligations has been overwhelming. For high school seniors, the pressure to excel academically while simultaneously tackling the college application process can feel insurmountable, especially while juggling extracurricular activities, part-time jobs, volunteer work, and family responsibilities.

B-CC counselor Mr. Favazzo said, “Many students don’t recognize the time commitment it takes to complete these applications, especially with all the supplemental questions that students have to answer for their more competitive schools.” Senior Cassidy Carroll said, “I was very surprised at the amount of time the Common App took up in the first quarter.” Common App is a platform used by the vast majority of colleges to streamline the college application process by allowing students to fill out a single set of paperwork, including a personal essay, and send it to multiple colleges and universities at once. However, in addition to the Common App essay, each college may have its own supplemental questions or requirements, which can add to the time and effort required.

The added stress this causes can magnify the rigor of senior-year coursework. “It’s been really difficult to balance. Now my entire week, I have to cram for all my tests and finish my remaining applications,” Campbell shared. Carroll added, “This quarter has been extremely busy, maybe even the busiest that I’ve had yet in high school.”

To support seniors during this stressful period, B-CC provided generous resources to students like the College and Career Coordinator, Ms. Heald. “I help students figure out what they’re doing after high school,” Ms. Heald explained. Mr. Favazzo added, “Ms. Heald can answer specific questions about schools, assisting students in identifying schools that might be a good fit for them. She knows a lot about specific colleges because she sits through the college visits.” Throughout the year, Ms. Heald holds college visits with many schools from around the country. These visits involve representatives from various colleges who come to B-CC to provide information and answer questions. They offer students valuable insights into different institutions and inform decisions about where to apply.

Mr. Favazzo said “Then there’s College Tracks, for students who are first-generation or are coming from overseas, and their parents don’t know anything about the college application process in the U.S.” College Tracks provide comprehensive guidance and support, walking students through every step of the college application process. This includes assistance with essay writing, resume preparation, identifying suitable schools, navigating financial aid, and scholarship applications, and determining which schools offer the most aid based on need.

Amidst the challenges of senior year, students like Senior Class President Ella Raymond have found ways to maintain balance. She shared her approach to managing this demanding period. “I have balanced everything by making sure I get all my homework done on time and using any extra time left to work on writing college essays and applications.” Senior Jacobo Lopez described his strategy. “I found time over the summer to do a lot of college applications and used simple things like a planner to keep me organized.” As a senior, numerous tasks can easily become lost and quickly accumulate. These strategies highlight that being mindful of one’s time and staying organized can make a significant difference.

On advice for juniors, Raymond said, “The earlier you can start, the better. Make sure you take standardized tests early, get good grades this year, and start researching colleges you might be interested in.” Ms. Heald agreed and emphasized, “The best advice I can give is to get stuff done early.” As the College and Career Coordinator at B-CC, Ms. Heald frequently sends out emails with useful information, including a senior to-do list, a guide that outlines essential steps in the college application process. It provides students with a clear roadmap to ensure they complete all necessary tasks for a successful college application process. She offered this advice to juniors, “When I write an email, at least read the subject line to see if it’s something that’s pertinent to you. If it says senior to-do list, you make sure you open that one.” 

In the end, senior year is a journey, not a destination. B-CC counselor Mr. Favazzo says it best, “Do not stress out about where you end up going. You will be successful anywhere you go if you put the time and effort in.”



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About the Contributors
Alyssa Wiener
Alyssa Wiener, Staff Reporter
Alyssa Wiener is a junior on the tattler staff, and plays on the girls soccer and lacrosse team at BCC. In her free time she enjoys hanging out with her friends.
Nathaniel Seaman, Section Director
Nat is a B-CC senior and is reprising his role as section director of art and photography for the second year in a row. In his free time, Nat enjoys boxing, reading and photography.

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