Tara’s Takes

Cochrane on College

As a junior I thought that the worst part of the college process would be the essays, interviews, and research. I was wrong. The college process itself was manageable. What was truly overwhelming was the feeling of never being done. There was always an extra meeting to be had or an essay that could use refining. For over a year, I couldn’t put down my work and relax for even an hour without being suffocated by a deadline. Even now, though all my applications have been submitted, there is still the endless waiting for the acceptance, rejection, and deferral decisions. 

What’s worse is that, the stress of never being done is only compounded by the emotional rollercoaster that is the summer between junior and senior year and first semester senior year. Unsurprisingly, emotions run high during the college process. Everyone was swinging between overwhelmed and terrified. When the first round of decisions finally came back, it was definitely a bit of an ego bruiser. Of course, at the end of the day, everything will work out, but in that moment of rejection, it’s hard to keep sight of that. 

The best advice I have for dealing with the stress of the college process is to support your friends and trust them to support you. Set clear expectations on how much you plan to say about the process. For example, my friends and I decided we wouldn’t talk about our college lists, only the process in general. We managed to find a balance between being empathetic and proud but not overbearing. For any juniors reading this, I hope you too will find people who make the college process bearable.

The Senior Laptop by Emma Manley
The College Flowchart By Emma Manley