College application season begins for Class of 2019

College application season is underway for Uni’s class of 2019. The Common Application opened on Aug. 1 and University of Illinois’s application portal opened on Sept. 1, among others.

From interviews of two students and a counselor, college application stress and pressure are present at Uni.

Uni counselor Donzell Lampkins said there is “…definitely a lot of college application stress at Uni.”  He says this stress comes from many different sources, such as parents, peers, or even the individuals themselves from ideas they have internalized.

However, college application stress isn’t something the whole class shares.

“It’s different for everyone,” Lampkins said. “I have my seniors that really were intentional [about making sure] their schedule was very stress-free, and they took courses that were based on their interests, and then you have those other seniors that are in courses that they aren’t necessarily passionate about, just to look a certain way to a college.” While Mr. Lampkins can’t give specific information on how many seniors fit into that second category, he said “…it’s more than we’d like to see.”

Some current seniors also shared their thoughts on the topic. Dante Freund is a current senior, and he isn’t dealing with a lot of college stress.

“For me, applying to college at Uni is not stressful, because I already have everything laid out for me, and all I have to do is get into one school and that’s it,” he said.

He also believes that seniors have the resources they need to successfully apply to college. He said the counselors in particular are very helpful.

“I think Lisa Micele is awesome. She literally knows everything that has to do with applying to colleges,” he said.

Freund also said there is pressure at Uni to apply to big-name schools.  He said that in his friend group, “…there’s a lot of joking about getting into MIT, especially.” There are also more serious pressures too, he said: “There’s some underlying stuff too, like if you go to Parkland, everybody’s going to be like ‘oh, why’s he going to Parkland, that’s stupid, that’s a waste of your time.’”

He said this pressure is created by students. On the other hand, he said that the faculty at Uni, especially the counselors, are very supportive of all paths students want to take past high school.

Harmen Alleyne, another senior, has a different situation.

“For me personally I don’t have the time for college apps, and that might be true for some other people. My parents aren’t giving me enough time to complete them, and instead telling me to go places and do things that aren’t productive,” he said. He speculates that many of his peers may have similar problems, as “…senior year is junior year with college apps.”

Like Freund, Alleyne says there is pressure at Uni to apply to big name schools. He claims this is largely because Uni is a more academically intensive school.

“We’re Uni High, we’re supposed to be the smart kids,” he said.

He says this pressure is also created by students’ parents, as many of them are professors.

“Not only do we as students and peers want to get into big name schools, but a lot of parents of students here are professors at the University, and so they want their children to get a really good education, so there is pressure to apply to big name schools, not some obscure college in Ohio. I don’t think every student and their parent wants to go to an Ivy league school, but everyone wants to go to a school with some reputation,” Alleyne said.