Seniors VS. College Decision Season: A Battle of Morale



Actual image of a Centennial senior’s chaotically organized desktop.

CENTENNIAL HIGH SCHOOL – College decisions have been trickling out since December, and the flow is only going to intensify. Senioritis is peaking, scholarship season is well underway, and there’s a general loss of collective academic morale in the class of 2023. 


“Honestly, it seems like they [seniors] have just given up on school,” Mr. Richards, the well-loved AP Euro (a popular senior elective) teacher quips. “No one’s mentioned anything about college to me.”


With three months and 22 days until graduation as of the day of writing, it is understandable that students are not as proactive in class later into the year. Early decision applicants have already received their respective acceptances, deferrals, and rejections; however, suspense still hangs over the regular decision/early applicants, who will receive their verdict within the next three months. 


“I was checking them [my emails] every single day,” Centennial senior Sherlyn Wu says. The clotted inbox that comes with college recruitments is a given—having to monitor them for status updates is a familiar, soul-crushing tedium. 


While half of the seniors fit into this demotivated archetype, the other half keeps afloat by maintaining a baseline level of stress. 


Senior Labanya Bhadra reflects on her experience with college apps: “It may not seem hard to write a few essays and fill out some boxes, but many don’t realize that they are going to be writing essays about themselves. And when it’s time, it’s easy to get stuck and confused about what part to emphasize.” 


The college applications gauntlet is over for most—many schools’ deadlines were in December or early January, but there are still a few applications open until early February. For students seeking financial aid, however, the seemingly endless slog of external scholarship applications continues. 


These additional application processes—which are often concurrent with the release of admissions decisions—can easily become overwhelming. Stress management becomes paramount as enrollment deadlines draw closer, especially for those who are prone to ruminating. 


“I would feel worried that me stepping away would harm my productivity and my focus,” Bhadra explains. “But the more I took time to breathe, I realized that it refreshes your mind…when I come back to the work, I feel my ability to focus and think out of the box has increased.”


Activities such as exercise, reading, or simply taking a break to watch a Netflix show can help anyone switch gears. Bhadra’s advice is applicable to the wider student body, not just the class of 2023. 


As a senior myself, I understand just how easy it is to succumb to the pull of laziness—energy levels are low, second semester grades don’t carry as much weight, and the end line is so, so close. But taking time for yourself as the months pass by is an excellent way to stave off apathy and relieve stress.