How UHS Seniors are Doing So Far in their College Applications…


Emily Sun

Due to the multiple uncertainties and time pressure that they cause, college applications this year are a main source of stress and mental strain for UHS 2022 seniors.

Farah Hamza, Staff Writer

Although most colleges and universities start accepting applications around mid-October, University High School’s seniors have already been working on their applications since summer, taking away from their free time and placing a tremendous mental strain on them.

Remnants of the changes that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically affecting the classes of 2020 and 2021, include the decision of UC campuses to no longer require SAT or ACT testing, as well as the discontinuation of the SAT subject tests and SAT essays. All of these still apply to our class of 2022 seniors and are expected to apply to future classes as they apply to college.

Yet, despite the supposed ease that such decisions provided, they added more to the uncertainties of what colleges will and will not be looking at. The process has become “ambiguous,” as described by senior Daeseo Lee, who, due to such uncertainties, started to contemplate things like how the “diversity portion” will be taken into account when colleges and universities make their decisions.

“I live in a community that is very diverse,” said Lee, “so I hadn’t really thought about it that much.”

The applications were an added stress for seniors, who have started to embrace the challenges of the adult world. 

“I really struggled with balancing school work, life, extracurriculars, and college applications.” said senior Sophia Wang. “It sometimes just feels very overwhelming with all these stresses complying together.”

The pressure of having to plan so far into the future is also something that has taken a toll on seniors over the years. Along with this, our current seniors had few chances to understand how the process of college admissions works, due to the radical changes brought on by last year’s online learning.

“It is during this time that you will truly discover yourself and determine what you want to do with your life,” said senior Rewan Shokeir. “As a result, you must choose a college and major in which you are confident you will be happy for the following four years. Aside from that, most people have schoolwork and extracurricular activities to complete while applying and preparing the essay which needs a lot of time management. Last year, it was difficult to interact with everyone, so you didn’t get to learn much which left a lot of people not ready for college.”

Although the process of college admissions has proven to be difficult, not everything is as dark as it may seem. Some positives have been that the process is mostly “real” as put by Lee, meaning that colleges genuinely show an interest in their applicants’ lives and personalities, not only focusing on their grades or academics.

Another positive side of the process this year has been that it provides new opportunities that were only introduced recently, giving students a better perspective on what their future college life will be like.

“One of the really good things with COVID is the accessibility of events that I can attend,” said senior Ryan Wu,  “like admission panels, essay workshops, and even virtual campus tours all through some virtual medium in response to the pandemic.”

College application season is something that is notoriously stressful and difficult. However, UHS seniors have taken this challenge head-on and are ready for the future that awaits them.