High School Senior Year Reflection Essay

Half way into the summer, we’ve asked college-bound students to reflect on their senior year, and the college application process as a whole. This student submitted piece describes how what she once felt was a tedious, painful process is the means of anxiety-induced growth. 

There is an inexplicable feeling of incessantly unnecessary anxiety when applying to colleges and universities. Each applicant feels it; that worry in regards to where or when young-adulthood will finally become a reality can creep itself into any situation. Not many students can put their finger on it, but this anxiety most oftentimes develops because of the idea of saying goodbye.

This sort of experience has students begging the question: why are we asked to make such an important decision with an expected level of certainty that we’re unsure even exists?

After going through the application process, I’d like to believe that this decision is not only our entrance into the world of adulthood, but also marks a much-needed exit from the world of teenage worries and childish problems.

I am by no means saying that a student’s worries and problems magically go away once their feet make first physical contact with their college campus; if anything, anxieties develop over particular issues that may have never been perceived as a major need. Trust me, you’ll freak out about how much laundry detergent to put in each load or even how long an Easy Mac should really be placed inside a microwave.

However, as any high school senior who has already decided on their collegiate plans could attest, this unnecessary anxiety diminishes once he or she is fully committed to a campus they believe will help develop them into the person they wish to be. Over time, allowing oneself to accept high school as a completed challenge in the life of the growing student, while also forging a belief that college represents an invitation of greater challenges that will amount to greater achievement becomes easier.

Growth is necessary, but it is usually always subtle; as such an abstract idea to begin with, growth is usually defined as something that can be visually tracked. In my experience, growth is a function that shifts conception into execution. Maturation allows students to grow as people beyond what they think is possible before it actually happens. Tracking self growth has become an especially weird hobby of mine, but I’d like to believe that it’s me simply strengthening functions that I will be able to carry with me for the rest of my life.

Figuring out which campus is a perfect fit for you is a tough decision; the anxious feeling high school seniors have is oftentimes fleeting, but the outcomes of it are everlasting. As many college students will agree, this feeling will fade away as soon as freshmen orientation begins. It is the experience of this anxiety, though, that helps welcome students into their newly found adulthood.

So don’t panic fellow young-adults, your future is around the corner, and has been for quite some time. 

You’re prepared for it.



This article was written by Estefania Maldonado, Class of 2013. Stef will be attending Hofstra University in the fall and majoring in Business.

Finally, the year we all had been waiting for had arrived: senior year. Besides keeping up with the school work, a part-time job and other miscellaneous tasks, most of us added another To-Do list to our agenda, which included applying for college, committing to college, going to prom and graduating.

Consequently, after the first weeks of school, I started to feel the stress and anxiety that came with the tedious, nerve-wracking task of filling out the various college and Financial Aid applications. But after finally completing all of them, I, happily, checked it off my senior list and moved on to the next task. As I got the many acceptance letters, as well as the many painful rejection letters, in the mail, I made up my mind and chose the college that best fitted my needs. Committing to college: Check! Soon enough, the hallways were full of seniors wearing their college sweatshirts, including myself. Our feelings of satisfaction and happiness after finally knowing where we were going were blatantly written on our faces.

Then came May, and with it, prom. All of us were excited about what dress we were going to buy, what heels would match the dress, and of course, who would be the guy, or girl, that would ask us to prom. Finally as that special day arrived, we all had expectations of how the night would turn out, for me, it was awesome! Even though I had gone to prom in 2011, this year’s prom was way better. Not only because it was my graduating class, but also because of the great venue.

After that night, I realized there was only one thing left in the list: graduation. It was unbelievable how fast this year had gone by, and now, we were just weeks away from graduating. But the closer we got to our last day in school, the more it started to hit us. We were finally leaving the one place we had spent so much time of our lives in. It had almost become a second home for us. Walking everyday to my next class, I started to realize that this would be the last time I was going to roam the hallways of North Penn High School as a student. And as the days went by, the day of Reflections arrived and I was, once again, struck by feelings of nostalgia and melancholy, stirred up by the performances, especially their last song of the amazing, talented students of our class. I still, vividly, remember seeing my friends on stage performing “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons, one of my favorite songs, and it almost brought me to tears. That night made me think of all of the people I had met in the past three years and all of the great memories we had made. However, although I knew I would miss everyone and everything, there were also mixed feelings of joy and anticipation for what was and is to come next in my life.

Wednesday, June 19th. That morning seemed like any ordinary day. But at 6:00 pm, everything changed. It was finally happening. We were led outside and into Crawford Stadium, which was overflowing with proud family members and friends of all of the graduates. After sitting down and hearing the moving speeches from our valedictorian, Lijia Xie, our salutatorian, Jeanne Shi, and our Class President, Alexandra Simon, names started to be called out. Then, as my row started to stand and line up to get the diplomas, it dawned on me that all of the hard work had paid off and I was overcome by a great feeling of accomplishment. As I took my diploma, and went back to my seat, I couldn’t help but smile. We, the Class of 2013, had finally graduated.

Categories: Alumni Association, Alumni Spotlight

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