Coppell Observer: College applications: the culmination of the high school experience


Josh Campbell

College application season has begun and along with it comes waves of stress for teenagers. The Sidekick communications manager Varshitha Korrapolu conveys the eagerness and excitement high school seniors have to go through this process.

Varshitha Korrapolu, Communications Manager

Coppell Observer is a humorous column about life as a teenager. Please be warned that any and all sass is due to the writers’ similar situation as adolescents (even though we feel so much older). You, the reader, should not take any of these words to heart. Seriously. If this article makes you laugh, leave a comment. 

The epitome of the high school experience. The anticipated, enjoyable college application season is approaching its peak quickly. 

College applications: the gateway from high school to college. A succinct and simple process that everyone masters the minute they find out about it. 

Step 1: Taking the much glorified SAT. 

A process requiring commitment, dedication, blood, sweat and tears. 

You lock yourself up in your room for a dreaded two hours and 55 minutes, blocking out all other thoughts and emotions when taking a practice SAT. 

When you take the real SAT at a testing center, an anonymous fifth section sneaks up on you and you have a panic attack. 

Days, weeks, months and years of your high school experience is snatched away by the SAT.   

Learn the test taking skills, practice said skills, apply them to practice tests, look over your mistakes, take more practice tests then rinse and repeat until the desired score is achieved. 

You have to sacrifice family time, friends time, exercising and a lot of other commitments in return for one of many numbers on your college application. 

But hey, it’s just a step in the process. 

Step 2: Making a list of colleges to apply to.  

Now that you have your basis or potential make-or-break factor (SAT score), it’s time to choose a decent amount of colleges to apply to without losing your sanity or money in your bank account (it costs between $30 and $80 per college you apply to). 

Factors to consider include, but are not limited to: cost of attendance, location, programs offered at the school, scholarships, diversity and inclusion. 

After an immense amount of googling, navigating college websites and reaching out to current undergraduate students, you narrow down choices to about 15 to 500 depending on how ambitious you are. 

But wait, now it’s time to fill out the Common Application, Coalition, ApplyTexas or the institute-specific platform. 

Step 3: Manually inputting your entire high school experience and personal information.

Once you create your account(s) and sit down with your list of colleges you will apply to, you log into the website and scroll through all the required information in order to complete the application. 

There are fields after fields after fields of information to fill out. No wonder the parts of the form that you need to fill out are called fields. 

And it’s not like all of the information is straight forward. How are you supposed to know how much your annual family income and other financial details are if you don’t even talk to your parents about this type of information when you are too busy taking practice SATs? 

Don’t forget about retrieving transcripts and letters of recommendation from your counselors as you will need to upload this information. 

Step 4: Essay time. 

You are almost at the finish line. All that stands between you and submitting college applications is the essay. The dreaded, soul-sucking essay. 

Potentially, you may need to write more essays than the personal statement depending on the schools you are applying to. But essays take up time and it is an arduous process of crafting them. And don’t forget that your personal statement has a word count of 650 words and it is nothing like the essays you write in school. 

It begins with getting that perfect idea. The idea that will win the hearts of Harvard’s admissions officers. The idea that could supposedly get you into your dream school. 

But this requires introspection. 

Introspection is difficult when teenagers are so busy falling into the traps of conformity. 

Write a list of ideas down, select one of the ideas, mess around with and see if it gets you anywhere and cry because your essay sucks. Rinse and repeat this process until you end up with something that is acceptable. 

Oh wait, there’s one last step. 

Step 5: The horrific, daunting period of waiting for admissions decisions. 

All the steps are fulfilled. Application fees are paid. Senior year is picking up momentum. 

Now you need to wait until March to start receiving your admissions decisions which your future is totally not dependent on. 

At least the college application process keeps seniors sane. But then you need to think about how you are going to pay for college if you do even get into your dream school. 

It makes you consider if college is even worth it. 

Follow Varshitha (@varshitha1128) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.