The Long Year Ahead

For high school seniors, the final year of high school can entail as much anxiety as anticipation.

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Kat Klinefelter

The college admissions process is among the main factors that make senior year more stressful than expected.

Deeksha Rachupalli, Staff Writer

As it is often portrayed in media, senior year is a stress-free cruise through easy classes, weekly social engagements, and fond farewells. But for many seniors, the shape of the future relies on this crucial year, tainting the all-excited image of students’ final year of high school.

For NASH senior Sierra O’Neil, the central worry of senior year is the fear of rejection.

“I have built a lot of my life around the college of my dreams. Realizing that my life may not go as planned scares me,” she said.

I have always looked up to seniors and put such high standards on senior year that I’m worried it’s going to lead to disappointment.”

— Amsu Yallalacheruvu, NASH senior

For senior Amsu Yallalacheruvu, the anxiety of senior year sets in early.

“As excited as I am for college, I’m scared to leave this life,” she said. “I love change and am really excited to meet new people, but I have always looked up to seniors and put such high standards on senior year that I’m worried that it’s just going to lead to disappointment.”

One of the most common reasons seniors feel the added pressure is the college application process, which can be a challenge to balance alongside school work and extra-curricular activities.

“The competitive nature of college applications, especially at our school, is really understated. The pressure of getting into a great school after working so hard for at least four years can be overwhelming,” Lamees Subeir said. “I’m involved in a lot of extracurriculars, and I hold leadership positions in a few of them this year. I tend to take on extra responsibilities that aren’t assigned to me, which becomes a lot of work. I’m obviously worried about college applications and grades, since I’m taking some tough classes this year.”

The stress that senior year ushers in can affect seniors’ lives outside of school, as well.

 “Leaving my mom is scary,” O’Neil said. “I grew up in the same home with the same people, and I am worried I won’t be sufficient alone. It is more than leaving home. I worry my mom won’t be okay alone.”

NASH senior Harshi Chinnam agreed.

“I have always been excited about senior year, but I will say I have felt more bittersweet about leaving my friends and family,” she said.

Yet, despite the weight and anxiety, the feelings associated with senior year, as a whole, are hopeful. 

“My overall feeling is pretty positive since I’m excited to get through this year and graduate high school,” Subeir said.