Alleviating Senior Stress With College Prep


Photo Curtesy of Sage Campomanes

Crafting her very best work for her college essay, senior Loreann Laou reads through her writing and makes revisions. During the nerve-racking college application season, seniors can easily start to feel stressed out or even lost. Luckily, Silver Creek High school has many people, like the college prep teachers or counselors, who are always willing to help struggling students. “It’s really great to have so many people that can help me during the college process,” Laou says, “Everyone is really supportive, making me feel comfortable with everything I have to do.”

With fall in full swing and college application deadlines just around the corner, seniors frantically try to stay afloat in the sea of stress. College essays, scholarships, letters of recommendation, requesting transcripts, and more, can easily start to feel intimidating. It’s a good thing for college preparation classes and appointments with counselors.

The college prep classes and counselors here at Silver Creek High School do their very best to provide seniors with the necessary support to get them through the overwhelming college application process. The amount of energy and dedication both the teachers and counselors put into the seniors is evident. They truly appreciate getting to know their students and working with them. As well as, encourage and uplift them in any way they can during this time.

“I want them [seniors] to walk away with something they feel proud of and walk away with something that is useful,” says English teacher Lauren Kohn, “I always try to say, ‘let’s write something you’re going to use’. Whether it’s for a scholarship, whether it’s for a common app prompt, let’s use this time to make something that’s going to be meaningful.”

College prep teachers, like Ms. Kohn, understand that feeling prepared for college comes with being confident in one’s own writing skills and abilities. “There’s hopefully some confidence that gets built in the senior year with all of the classes you take, you know, not just English,” Ms. Kohn says.

That confidence can be found by reaching out for help and receiving feedback on their writing from others. Teachers and students building that bond and communicating creates a safe environment for seniors to ask questions. Seniors get the opportunity to better their work through the responses from their teachers. Even if a student feels totally lost about what they may want to pursue after high school, there are other people who can help.

“Especially if somebody is still kind of questioning their choices, or if they’re not sure what their next steps are, we’re here for them,” says counselor Barb Norrbom, “We’re always busy but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to see them, we truly do … if a student isn’t feeling solid about their path after high school, again that’s what I’m excited to help them with, so I would love for them to engage in setting up an appointment with their counselor.”

The counselors value meeting with seniors to discuss future plans. Undoubtedly, 12th graders who reach out can settle some nerves about big decisions they are faced with. Counselors recognize that the fall season can be such an anxiety inducing time but, they also want to bring light to how exciting it is as well.

“I remember how thrilling that was for me to go off and explore so many different aspects, and to travel, and just to pursue your dreams ultimately,” says Ms. Norrbom, “I get really excited for students to take that into their own hands.”

The response from seniors who are taking CP classes has been very positive. “We’ve been working on our college essay since the start of school, and I’m really glad we have the chance to work on something for college,” Senior Abigail Pineda says, “I’m grateful we have a lot of time to work on it as well as get feedback on it from my teacher as we go”.

It is apparent that discussing future plans with people, such as teachers and counselors, has the power to raise students’ confidence in their writing and choices they make about college. Also, deciding to take CP classes as a 12th grader can offer some useful insight into how to write a successful college essay. Which is why it’s so important, for the seniors who are going to college, to feel prepared and ready for this next chapter in their lives.