Conversations about college add to tensions in the Class of 2022


As the class of 2022 applies to colleges, some are feeling the stress that comes along with this overarching task.

Andrew Seckular and Ethan Wen

For Communications High School seniors, most would rightfully assume that three years of hardwork should pay off during their final year of high school. However, they are not out of the woods quite yet, with college applications amounting to the final hurdle before graduation. This often comes with added stress, sleepless nights and even strained relationships.

While some deadlines are as soon as two months into the school year, such as the legally binding early decision applications, many students opt to wait until the winter months to submit their applications. The looming deadlines can easily stress out students who are applying for multiple colleges at once, and these feelings easily infilitrate conversations between the senior class.

“Every single time people are like, ‘I’m so stressed about this or that,’ I get really annoyed,” said senior Francesca Santaniello of Tinton Falls. “We are all in the same position and just complaining all the time brings more stress and tension that doesn’t need to be there. I feel like sometimes there is a better time or place to be talking about it than the lunch table.”

Included in many conversations is the comparison of scores and essays, and for some students, including Santaniello, discussions about applications come with a lot of judgment about the prestige and notoriety of the schools they choose to apply to.

“I’m going into a very specific program, and I’m applying to a lot of smaller schools, so when I say that other people are like, ‘Oh, where’s that?’…and it always gets awkward. Being questioned about it all the time sometimes makes me feel like I am doing something wrong,” Santaniello said.

In congruance with Santaniello’s statements, senior Ainsley Lang of Shrewsbury agrees that it is a stressful time, and also comments on the invasiveness of this conversation.

“It seems that some classmates are acting a bit invasive. It’s a really personal thing. How can you genuinely ask me about my future, when you don’t even ask me how my day is going? You’ll find out where I applied and where I’m going when the flags go up,” Lang said.

To counter these negative feelings, the CHS guidance department works to minimize stress for its students, offering extra support and communication during this time. Guidance counselor Sandra Gidos emphasized how she brings the students through the college applications. Gidos also notes that senior year is full of celebrations such as dances, proms, Friendsgiving and other events for the students to look forward to, so it really is a balance of “highs and lows.”

“Sometimes when people keep talking about college applications I choose not to surround myself with them because it brings me stress for things I had never even thought to be stressed about,” Santaniello said. “I’m organized, I’m not rushed and to be honest I hate talking about them. Everyone’s experience is so different, so just relax.”