The Senior Stress Epidemic

Naiima Paul

With the second semester in full swing, high school seniors are experiencing some of the most stressful times imaginable. 
Between classes, projects, and extracurriculars, the average student gets their fair share of stress. But the past few weeks have been even more stressful for us seniors, since it’s that time when we get the news that decide our futures.
That’s right, it’s college decision season. Seniors everywhere are nervously checking their emails and opening their mailboxes, hearts pounding as they meet the exciting acceptance letter or the heartbreaking rejection.
The fear of rejection is one of the biggest stressors and it’s made even worse by the wait. I find myself afraid to open my email at all sometimes out of fear of the dreaded “we regret to inform you” message. Colleges don’t update you on their thought processes, which leaves you to worry about what they’re thinking. Was your application good? Are your grades competitive enough? Should I have done more extracurriculars? Why did I even apply in the first place?
On top of that, paying for college is no small feat. Applications or scholarships and financial aid take an equal amount of time and effort. The fear of getting into a college, maybe even your dream college, but not being able to go due to finances is a painfully real fear for most. Many of us are already working jobs to save, another responsibility that adds to the many layers of stress. For many of us, this is the most adult we’ve ever had to be.
Teachers might understand, since they’ve had to go through the same when they were younger. But when they load us with homework and reading assigments as we scramble to make last minute deadlines and email inquiries into scholarship activities, it seems as if they’ve forgotten how nerve-wracking the whole process can be. We’re stressed, tired, and anxious. It’s hard to focus on math problems when an email that decides the next four years of your life is scheduled to come any day now.
But in this victory lap of highschool, we’re just trying to hang on and collect the last of our credits, spend time with our friends, and make memories. The Class of 2020 is getting through the stress, one day at a time.