Kierstin Phillips

In addition to their duties as students, senior stress results from important responsibilities required from them as their high school career ends.

Gwyneth Katker, Photographer

Senior year can be a very different experience depending on who you ask. For some, it can be a more relaxed experience and a year of fewer classes. For others, it‘s a year of more stress as they need to worry about college applications, their major, financial aid, extracurriculars, and academics.

For seniors with challenging academic schedules, balancing both schoolwork and extracurriculars can be hard. Students juggling the demands of classes and extracurricular activities have to carefully manage their time and stay on top of everything to be successful.

College applications contribute extra stress to seniors. Most of the preparation and work for college applications is done during senior year, from improving SAT or ACT scores to the anxiety of waiting for admission decisions.

Figuring out what major they will study can also be very taxing because it determines the career seniors choose after graduation. Some students have a clear plan for their futures, but others struggle to decide what they want to study. It can be difficult for an 18-year-old to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives, so making these decisions can be tough.

“It is stressful because I just have very high expectations and want to do well in the future,” said senior Anna Katz.

Higher education is very expensive and can add a lot of pressure for a student planning to go to college. Working to earn financial aid, such as scholarships, can take a lot of time and effort during senior year. Hard work and planning can pay off for students that have done very well during their high school years.

Seminole has many stress relieving services and support groups available to students. Seniors can go to guidance groups that focus on dealing with conflict, stress, anger, and grief. Seniors can also find guidance counselors in the cafeteria’s Counselor Corner every Wednesday for additional help.

“[We are] putting in family connections so [students] can find interests [and to] help take away some of the stress and narrow down some pointers of schools [and] majors,” said guidance counselor Dr. Shenique Gilbert.

The first of college applications are due in November. To prevent unnecessary stress, Gilbert recommends students to talk to counselors early and know all the deadlines.

“If you are going to apply to a school, you need to be looking up when the deadline [is], what their requirements [are, and] if they need teacher recommendations. Start getting to us early,” Gilbert said. “Try to balance everything, write everything out. If you are juggling too many things, it can overwhelm you.”

Many alumni, like Maddie O’Brien, have reflected back on their senior year and now have advice for current seniors. O’Brien graduated last year and is currently at UCF.  

“I have a lot more freedom,” said O’Brien. “A lot of it is kind of doing your own thing, so as long as you are prepared, you know what you are supposed to be doing, and what your teachers expect out of you, then you will be fine.”

Being a senior can be tough with all the extracurriculars, college applications, and major life decisions. With the support of your guidance counselors and good planning, seniors can reduce the stress of their final year in a tremendous way.