I Have No Idea What I’m Doing – A Senior Year Series I of IV


Overwhelmed by meetings and decisions, thankfully this author has multiple people to help out and show her the way.

Anaya Marte, Editorial Board

As a senior in 2022, my eyes water when the thought of preparing to leave crosses my mind. I walk into school and I am asked,

“What colleges are you applying to?”

“Do you know what you’re going to study?”

“How is the application process?”

I didn’t know! Many of my peers had applications sent in long before guidance sessions were scheduled. That meant, to me, that I was behind in all that I needed to do for my future. I had dream schools of course, but they’d be FAR reach schools, and I couldn’t bring myself to be realistic. Throughout the beginning of the 1st quarter, we would be called to multiple group guidance sessions, receiving letter after letter from colleges, and even parents could join group meetings with counselors and other parents regarding the college application process. It seemed as though I could not escape it; I still feel that way. Once college began consuming my thoughts to a rather unmanageable point, I knew it was time to buckle down and figure out how to get started. Planning my days around everything I had helped wonders. Whether it be school, jobs, clubs, and Common Apps, I forced myself to stay organized. It became difficult at times yes, but now is the time to really drill self-discipline into our minds as a tool.

One thing that is important to the application process is actually looking at the Common App website, just to get a feel for what you’re doing. I met with my guidance counselor one-on-one for the first time, to simply learn how to use the Common App website, and by the end of our meeting, I was more than halfway done with my personal information. I thought “Why hadn’t I done this sooner?!”

You’ll see that it’s asking all about your background, making it so you are quite literally able to work on this either in your room or on the train (with service of course). It takes about 1-1.5 hours to entirely fill out your personal information along with your parents or guardian’s, though you may feel yours fly through the questions. Stalling on this process proves to be unnecessarily stressful because once you finally begin, you might find some ease in answering personal questions and see that there is room for uncertainty in your responses.

The difference now? I’m more aware of what I want to do. My group guidance session with Ms. Hammond helped my confidence tremendously. It is okay to not have an extensive list of schools, you’ll figure it out as you go. Instead, I began to realize that I needed to figure out what I want in a college, not what or who would accept me.

Not only understanding what you want but learning HOW you can explore different environments and dynamics works wonders. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! You’ll never BE annoying. You’ll be curious, and even if people say that, who cares, it’s your future: advocate for it!

Everyone moves at a different pace, and everyone’s colleges have different deadlines, always providing a chance for another application. There are people who continuously fill out their Common App every day, and those who haven’t even opened the website, but different goals call for different forms of accomplishing them.

I recognized that being okay with your standing, knowing what you want to go to school for, and attending as many informational sessions as possible work wonders for confidence and the stress that comes with applying to colleges. As long as YOU feel comfortable with what you’re doing, and you ask for help when needed, you’ll always have the opportunity to seek out what you desire.