Senior Year Anxiety

McDaniel students sit together

It’s real.

Teachers are telling you to put forth your best effort, counselors are reminding you to complete college applications, parents are urging you to connect with admissions counselors, and it seems like everyone expects you to know what you want to study and do for the rest of your life. On top of this, it is your senior year, and you want to make the most of the time with your classmates and closest friends.

Here’s the scoop: If you’re in this space reading about anxiety, I assume you are considering a Colleges That Change Lives (CTCL) member school. This alone should put you more at ease! Here’s why.

CTCL schools pride themselves in taking anxiety out of the admissions process. Transparency is valued, and the admissions counselors do an outstanding job getting to know YOU. You can breathe easier knowing that your application is being reviewed holistically and that there is not any one single item that makes or breaks an admissions decision. CTCL admission counselors also understand the balancing act that senior year demands—even when there isn’t a pandemic!

Likewise, CTCL schools don’t expect you to have your academic and professional plans completely mapped out when you start college. Rather, their core curricula are designed to build on your current interests as well as spark curiosity in new areas. You can be confident that when you graduate from a CTCL school you will be intellectually well rounded, have a highly developed skill set that employers desire, and possess a passion for learning that will distinguish you throughout your life. You’re feeling better, aren’t you?

Now what? Carve out time for completing tasks on your college application and selection to-do lists. Manage your anxiety by creating  ‘college-free discussion zones’ (like the dinner table). Schedule time to discuss the process with your family and counselors. Take time to time to make senior memories.

No one ever said that being a senior in high school is easy. You have a lot to manage, and we want you to succeed. Give yourself grace and know that you aren’t alone. You’ve got this!

Heidi M.S. Reigel ’97
Associate Vice President of Alumni & Admissions
McDaniel College