College Overload: How Seniors Are Already Prepping For College

As the summer came to a close, seniors were slowly dreading the first few months of their senior year. Why? It’s an easy answer, college applications and preparations.

Right before starting the school year, the Guidance Department hosted a College Jumpstart, August 10 & 11, where seniors were able to set up their CommonApp accounts, watch videos pertaining to each application section, and ask any questions they had about the whole process.

“It gave me peace of mind in getting myself organized before the school year started,” senior Amanda Charbonneau said.

With all the deadlines, essays, and application stress, college can seem like a huge weight on any senior’s shoulders in addition to their everyday activities.

“I’m glad I went into the school year more informed and less stressed about college,” Charbonneau said.

Starting the school year fresh is an immense bonus for anyone beginning the college journey, especially with all the help and guidance OLLA offers. The guidance department works diligently every year to prepare the senior class for their next step after graduation.

“The guidance counselors were great in helping us navigate through CommonApp,” senior Sofia Fernandez said.

Great assistance and helpful tips and tricks allow for students to feel more at ease when going into uncharted waters with such an impact on their future.

“I feel it’s so much easier now,” Fernandez said.

While this school year eases itself back into the once-known normalcy, counselors are hoping that activities like these help the senior class in the biggest decision of the year.

“We notice it really helps us get everybody on the same page to start the college process,” guidance counselor Ginny Castellanos said. “I want them to feel comfortable. There is a part of it that gets everybody knowledgeable and gives more power in knowing more about the process.”

Naviance, the former application used for college applications, became too difficult to continue using. The newness of SCOIR, the current managing system for college applications, has brought some challenges as both the guidance department and students begin to navigate around. Introducing a new app right for the start of senior year requires counselors to learn to navigate the site and teach it to the students with urgency, on top of already assisting with college applications.

“We had to sit and review all the different videos and, like we told you guys, we’re going through and learning how to use SCOIR, as it’s super user-friendly and I think a lot of the girls can manage it much quicker than the last system,” said Castellanos. “The feedback is positive and we’ll continue using it for as long as we can.”

As deadlines begin to seem closer than ever and activities, essays, and recommendation letter requests start piling up, the Guidance Department awaits to help the senior students with their application process. Seniors continue to prepare in order to begin applying as early as the beginning of October.