I survived college applications (barely)

Recalling college visits and apps is horrifying


Illustration by Erin Kim

Students like Wyatt Golla nearly burst into flames as burnout from college applications becames too much. He survived.

I won’t sugarcoat it. College applications are rough.
Actually, anything that involves thinking about my future is so draining that by the end of it I feel like I just ran a marathon. The intricate process involving attaining a higher education makes me want to slam my head into my locker.
On paper, applying for college is the easy part. All I would have to do is go onto a few websites, look at where I want to go, write a few self-aggrandizing essays and call it a night.
Problem is, that’s not exactly how it works. I had to do some digging into what college I wanted to attend to make sure that I wasn’t walking into a four-year long mistake.
I had trouble just trying to get to the right page for most of the colleges. Then I had to input all the information of each AP course that I took, even though I tried as hard as I could to repress the memories of endless lectures and midnight study sessions to the deepest part of my subconscious.
Alright that last part might have been a bit over dramatic, but you get the point.
Keep in mind that I had specific criteria each college, as we all do. But there was one main standard I needed from a college: I needed to be able to attend the college without having to take the SAT. Why, you might ask? Funny story.
To make said story shorter, since I had to take two years of Algebra 1 because I’m not that great at math, I didn’t have the necessary skills to even take the SAT early on. By the time I could consider taking it, most colleges decided that the SAT was optional.
So, I decided to save the few vestiges of sanity I had left during the two years of online schooling that we seniors collectively refuse to speak of and avoid the SAT entirely. Sure, somebody could say that I’m just lazy, but to be fair they would be entirely right.
Even when the dust settled and I somehow managed to send out all of my applications, I made an error. I thought things were going to get easier. They did not.
I had to deal with something called the consequences of my actions by actually visiting the schools I had just spent days pledging interest that I wanted to go to.
I had to go visit a few different colleges to get a feel for the campuses. This part of the process wasn’t actually that bad. The colleges looked nice, the people were kind and food was passable.
But at the time I didn’t take my visits that seriously. They were just to scout the locations CSUs had to offer.
Then came the part I was really unprepared for: the waiting. After a while, I finally got my results, and thankfully I got in to most of the schools to which I applied for.
But this introduced another problem. The good news was that I had options. The bad news was that I had options. In a cruel twist of fate my wealth of choices only made my decision more difficult.
Now, I had to decide where I wanted to spend four or more years of my life, far from an easy task. I revisited colleges that interested me most, reviewed available classes, looked at dorms, and ate more of their food.
None of that really helped me narrow down my decision, but it was still nice.
I’ve barely been able to get through the process of applying to and visiting colleges. I’ll be lucky if I can even make it to April without spontaneously combusting from burnout.