A lot of people are under the impression that junior year is the most challenging of high school. My own experience as a senior has shown otherwise. While junior year is the most crucial academically, I have found senior year to be the most nerve-wracking and pressure-filled.
During junior year, we concentrate exclusively on academics, namely schoolwork and standardized testing (like the SAT and ACT). In contrast, senior year involves a myriad of issues beyond academics.
August through October revolve around college applications, which involve all-important essays, which can vary from school to school, not to mention sending in transcripts, getting teacher recommendations, and deciding which schools to apply.
I decided to apply to the University of Miami, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, Tulane University, Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, and George Washington University.
Then, November through February focus on hearing back from schools, while trying to maintain good first-semester grades to be sent to those colleges.
I found these months to be the most stressful; I knew they would be the determining factors of my future.
The first school I was to hear back from was luckily the first school I was accepted to: Tulane University. Following that was an acceptance to the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.
Then came my deferral from the University of Michigan, an email that caused me much anguish. Luckily, to my surprise, I heard from the University of Wisconsin a month later, and was accepted a week before my 18th birthday. Upon my acceptance, I knew the University of Wisconsin was the place for me, having fallen in love with the school after doing a summer program there.
From that point on, I was under the illusion that all my stress would be relieved; little did I know there were more issues to deal with, primarily social ones.
Who was I going to room with at Wisconsin?
Did I know anyone going there?
Luckily, social media was a tremendous help and I was invited into a group on Facebook for an upcoming meet up of incoming freshman going to the University of Wisconsin.
There were about 30 girls in the group, some of whom I know. It was this Faceboook group that allowed me to connect with some girls on a personal level and find the ones that will be my future friends.
Although the meet up was a little awkward and uncomfortable for many of the girls, I was lucky enough to meet one of my future suitemates, a girl who shared many interests with me. Following the meet up, I made sure to stay in contact and build on our friendships.
Since the meet up, I have met with some of the girls again and have my three suitemates for next year all figured out. I feel much more stable and excited for the upcoming fall knowing that I already have a group of friends formed.
As my academic load has definitely lightened, I am transitioning into college mode by focusing on what dorm I am going to be living in this fall, the classes I want to take, and becoming prepared for a brutal Madison winter by purchasing a new coat and snow boats.
I feel so happy and blessed to have been accepted to the college of my choice and I hope that other students will be as fortunate as I am. There were many days this year when it seemed like things were spinning out of control for me, but in the end, everything worked out for the best, and is all coming together for me.
Stephanie Ingber, 18, attends Watchung Regional High School and is a member of Nu’s teen board.