June 18, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

The Home Stretch

Well, it’s that time of year again. Just when we thought the pressures that were afflicting us from the ever-so- stressful junior year were finally behind us, the perfect storm of senior year course load and college application anxiety enters gale force six.

The only godsend is that police seem to be shutting down after school parties at a much faster rate this year, which leaves us unfortunately $30 poorer per cover charge, yet with more time to be ratcheting up grades!

In our world, there are three crucial factors that play big roles in our day-to-day lives: maintaining good grades, having a social life, and getting sleep… and, it seems to be only humanly possible to attain two out of the three. All of us are faced with the strenuous task of juggling extracurricular activities, homework, personal statements, and supplements, oh my.

The week before my school started, everyone’s summer vacation suffered an abrupt and untimely end as we all scuttled back to Archer to enlist in a college application boot camp.

It’s kind of like when Southern schools start football practice after July 4th, with a lot of focus on drills and training. However, our wind sprints and stadium steps were more about completing the Common Application and writing the perfect college essay. We learned to not address our essays with “To whom it might concern,†or “Dear St. Peter,†and how to start sentences in prepositional phrase, iambic pentameter, and free of emoticons.

Our mandatory boot camp actually turned out to be a blessing because even before the halls were filled with the other grade levels, our counselors had encouraged us to complete the Common App. This task might have been completely overwhelming had it not been for the aid of our college counselors who had brought in our English teachers and advisors to help us in this endeavor.

Besides the obvious feeling of being ahead of the game, it gave us more time to pause in the following months to really analyze our choices for schools and have the time to research them even more. To that effect I’m leaving this Wednesday to visit four schools three time zones away.

As if this wasn’t enough, we seniors are also faced with the daunting task of taking the SAT and/or ACT for the last time, which is incredibly important because it is the last chance for us to get our scores up. If on October 28th you think you feel an earthquake, it’s probably just thousands of seniors collectively throwing their practice test books into the trash after what will amount to over a year of gleefully turning over pages only to discover what else you didn’t know!

While all of this is indeed very stressful, I’ve tried to maintain a positive outlook throughout the entire process and wish to extend that message to everyone who’s also in my position. I’ve seen way too many of my peers fall victim to mental meltdowns, migraines and Maalox that are usually followed up with the wailed infamous line, “I’m not going to get into college!,†which we all know is a highly improbable and unnecessary fear.

It would not be truthful to say that we have managed to stay entirely stress free these past few weeks, but we have learned to steer our focus away from feelings of anxiety and towards the exciting notion that the day will come when the mailman has something happy to deliver to each and every one of us.

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