The application marathon

Eve and Ellie stress over their Common Apps / Photographer: Sylvia Johnson

College applications have been on the minds of nearly every senior since before the school year began, and many have now applied. The majority of students I surveyed applied using the common application, while half that amount applied early decision, and a small number of students are taking gap years before their next step. Most seniors would rate the college application process at a six or seven out of 10, and the most common piece of advice for underclassmen was to start the process earlier than you might think, and to absolutely not procrastinate.

When asked what helped her most while applying, senior August Moore said “I had a solid amount of sports, community service hours, and other work experiences and activities which helped me fill out my activities section of applications.” College applications are not just about academics, but also about extracurriculars and community involvement. With so much focus on grades and test scores, I find it comforting to think about an emphasis on other activities as well.

Every student’s college journey is different, not just in applications and timing, but also in pursuits in college and after. Some seniors plan to pursue art and design, while others lean more toward sciences and math. Hannah Alexander, for example, plans to study environmental science in college and go into the military after graduating.

When asked what they were most looking forward to in college, most students responded the freedom that college will bring. Students often go to college at the same time they begin living on their own, and that comes with a lot of freedom, both in academics and in everyday life. But there is also a melancholy aspect to graduation. When asked what he would miss most about Orcas after graduation, Sam Sutton said: “The tight-knit community. As annoying as it is to have everyone know everything about you, it also feels like one big family.” As a new student, I have not known most of the people in the school for long, but I already recognize a huge sense of connection, especially with the seniors.

As a junior myself, my college applications are not for a while, but after hearing these interviews I feel that I am more prepared and educated about the process. I am hopeful looking towards my senior year, and towards college in general. I absolutely agree with Sam Sutton, who, when asked what he was most excited for about college, said “The vibe.”