The Class of 2017 has experienced many changes in terms of the college process (such as new SAT and financial aid), and many seniors seem to be doing things on their own — or at least, sometimes it just feels that way. But, seniors! We are all trying to #getthroughit. So, in the grand scheme of things, we are truly not alone and can always learn from each other. Hopefully, sharing these quotes gives students the confidence or encouragement they need to keep pushing through the process. I asked some kids from my school, and a couple others about what the year has been like so far, for them. Here are a few voices from The Class of ‘17.
“I’m excited to be a senior. The one thing that I wish I did better was find my schools earlier. I got most of my testing out of the way junior year so that didn’t stress me out but I know that’s stressing a lot of kids out that haven’t taken any tests yet. I think this could be a really simple process, you just have to play your cards right. I wish I did some things differently but honestly I’m not complaining because everyone will end up where they need to be.” — Liz Howard, 17, DeKalb School of the Arts
“Man, stressful: managing time between preparing for the SAT/ACT and real school work and college apps!” — Ramel, 18, Chamblee High School
“My mom says I’m making myself more stressed than I need to be but it’s only because of all the things people are putting in my ear. But I’m honestly having the most fun I’ve ever had this year out of all my years of high school. Mostly because I know it’s my last year and I want to treasure each moment truly, honestly. Yeah, I wish I was more focused my freshman and sophomore year because I was distracted by the wrong things, but honestly, it is what it is and it happened for a reason so we’ll see where we will go from there.” — Kaylin Jackson, 17, DeKalb School of the Arts
“Being a senior hasn’t really hit me, to be honest. However the stress of it definitely. My previous years of high school were all very busy, but not as busy as I am now. I never really saw myself writing resumes, asking for letters of recommendation, and involving myself more in community service and extracurriculars until now. I also feel a sort of pressure to get into college, seeing as how I’d be the 2nd in my family to go, the first being my sister. Aside from the stressful parts, I have become more of a leader, I’ve involved myself with my student body more, and it’s making learn to manage my time even better.” — Jabari Mcleod, 17, VOX Teen Staff, DeKalb School of the Arts
“It’s the same really. (homeschool vs. public school college process) I take all the same steps as regular schools. I just have to get all my paperwork mailed or faxed to me from my school. My school experience is waaaaaaay different though. I don’t get to do half the things regular schools would do. I miss out on a lot.” — Genesis Williams, 17, Homeschooled
“It’s taken me a good portion of my summer to actually feel good about being a senior. First, I had to prepare, then I had to plan, and most importantly mature. Once that last phase happened everything kinda fell in place. I’ve come to understand everything that happens more, and put my mind into everything I do. The college process cannot be done without these elements, which continue to grow in me to this day. Hard work to give and time to give up are two things I must be willing to do to get where I want to be.” — Justice Pate, 17, DeKalb School of the Arts
“Well, one word: stress. But it is all worth getting accepted into the school of your dreams. This is just a process needed to be able to accomplish your goals — staying up late nights doing college stuff as well as maintaining your grades and extracurricular activities i.e. dance.” — Shaquelle Charles, 17, DeKalb School of the Arts
The general theme here is that although the whole process of applying to college, then figuring out where we want to be afterwards, is stressful, it’s worth it in the end. It pays off to be optimistic. A very important tip for getting through it is to drink water — keep hydrated! The more hydrated you are, the more natural energy you will have. Make time for yourself, or give yourself a big treat when everything is submitted and turned in! Trust the process! With everything going on in the world, it’s inspiring that the new Class of 2017, the new generation, is doing their best to look forward!
Ameerah, 17, is a senior at DeKalb School of the Arts.
Photo credit: Kayla Smith, VOX staff. Model: Jonessa Johnson, DeKalb School of the Arts.