HB Seniors Take on College Apps.


Many students are using the Common Application to apply to college. The application process has been a hard one, especially with Covid-19, but students are trying to make it work by asking for help. “Having the support from my parents was really something I benefited from,” said Delaney Wiemer.

Caitlin Treacy , Arts and Entertainment Editor

2020 has been full of uncertainties, and that extends to college applications. The pandemic has brought more worries to the already stressful process. Nevertheless, HB students are powering through with the help of guidance counselors, teachers, and parents.

One of the biggest challenges that came with applying to college during a pandemic was taking the SATs. They were canceled last March right at the beginning of quarantine, so students had to make them up this summer and fall. “Early on, a lot of the stress was about the SATs. But I was able to take it at the schools and one other time, and I luckily like my score now so I sent it in,” said Joel Goodman ‘21.

Many schools have gone test-optional to account for this problem, which is a welcome change. “It was definitely a relief for me, not having that extra bit of stress and pressure on myself,” said Delaney Wiemer, ‘21.

Schools have shifted their rules around in other ways to accommodate applicants affected by Covid-19. Along with going test-optional, many colleges have pushed back their deadlines to ease the prospective student’s burdens. Additionally, since it’s so hard to travel and have big gatherings, many schools have created virtual tours so students can check out their campus without having to visit.

However, the actual application process has not changed that much, since they are mostly filled out online. “I have some students who are remote, but things seem to work just as well over zoom. I think this is one area where there’s been a lot of normalcy, even though we’ve had to adjust to a new environment,” said guidance counselor Daniel Bumbarger. He adds that the ability to share your screen on Zoom has been a plus when talking with remote students since it’s easier to demonstrate how to fill out applications like the Common App.

Disregarding problems caused by Covid-19, college applications would still be a considerable undertaking. One of the challenging and most annoying parts of the applications, according to students, is the supplemental essays that different schools require. “They’re annoying and repetitive, and you also have to make sure that you’re catering to the school,” said Goodman.

It’s also been challenging for students to manage stress around applications. “It’s been very stressful. I don’t know why people say junior year is that hard, because this year has been way worse,” said Goodman. Students have found ways to manage their stress by getting help and planning their time. “If I get one or two supplemental essays done in the day then I feel accomplished, because there’s a lot to do and the best way to approach it is taking it piece by piece,” said Wiemer.

Students who need more help should reach out to their guidance counselor or a teacher. “Even if you met with your counselor already and you’re still feeling stressed, make an appointment. That’s what we’re here for,” said Bumbarger. The advice he has for students applying is to complete all your school’s requirements, work with an English teacher to edit your essay, and keep your grades up even after you’ve applied. He also said to look out for local scholarships, which will start being posted in the second semester, if you need extra money for college.

If students need extra help, they should email their guidance counselor or visit the counseling office website.