Haley Switzer
Web Editor

 An intriguing, yet stressful time in life for many juniors and seniors occurs when filling out five or more college applications at a time. The anxiety and overwhelming emotional fluctuations that continuously reappear, stem from (post) senioritis.

 Many family members, teachers, and college friends have warned me, “Don’t let senioritis pin you down.” I understood I wouldn’t be able to avoid the hassle, but their warning implied that I’d be able to overcome any negative thoughts pertaining to senior year and the gist of college.

 As a senior, Creative Writer, I’ve dealt with projects in the literary field that have helped me over time narrow down my ideals for college. An easy way we were able to manage well with this project in junior year was to first create a list of potential majors, what we’d want to gain from the “college experience,” and pay in terms of tuition. Most of what we’d list outlined our needs and desires as individuals.

 For example, I am a person who enjoys more one on one attention with teachers and excels in an intimate environment where it’s easier to make friends quickly. Once I figured out my ideal list of what to look for in a college that would best meet my desires and standards, I began to research five potential candidates.

 As for my list of five colleges, I immediately recognized a large financial burden, but had hope due to offered scholarships, financial aid, and grants listed under each individual college. Student loans are ranked number one on my list of college temptations to avoid.

 I applied to Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), The University of North Florida (UNF), Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ), and Jacksonville University (JU). These became practical options due to location (since I am unable to afford to live on campus) and tuition cost. The overall tuition for these college choices ranges between five thousand and forty thousand dollars a year. I’ll be honest; the thought of paying tuition on my own still frightens me, especially since I won’t have family to constantly rely on.

 JU accepted me for the Summer of 2017 and receive a forty thousand dollar merit scholarship. Although that seemed like a lot of money, I’d still have to pay twenty-one thousand dollars a year, excluding scholarship offers that I am currently waiting to hear back about.

 As for the other colleges, I eliminated SCAD from the picture as I realistically viewed over their forty thousand dollar tuition and understood I would not be financially suited yet to live on my own in Savannah, Georgia.

On the other hand, UNF deferred (neither declining or accepting) me because of my ACT score, which they explained would need to be retaken and reflect improvement in order for my application to be amended and reviewed again. This is one college I applied to where I thought I’d be immediately accepted, not just because generation after generation of family attended. Deferments change destinies as doors open and close for many. How we accept these changes though, proves our worthiness to venture a course in life we are meant to journey.

As for FSCJ, I am reapplying for the Fall 2017 or Spring 2017 due to a transcript issue that could not be immediately rectified before the Summer 2017 semester begins, which is what I originally hoped for.

 College decisions are unpredictable. Emotions are tampered with during this process, but understand that the occasional feeling of defeat will occur, but eventually subsides. This serious process determines another path of success after high school, which should not be taken lightly. The opportunity for success will not always stay put, which marks the importance of following all visible opportunities.

 As of now, my top two choices are JU and FSCJ. Depending on the outcome of the JU scholarships I may or may not receive, will determine whether or not I am able to attend JU immediately or transfer from FSCJ (if the current situation rectifies) with my Associates Degree to JU.

 The college process takes a temporary toll on everyone, but hope is not lost. Only you can decide where you’ll be happiest and the most financially set. Do not fear rejection, but let it swell within your core and allow you to fulfill current goals to better gear you for your upcoming college decision. Keep your mind open to opportunities that are “unexpected” if you will. Remind yourself that this is your life and no matter where you attend college, what you receive from education stems from the time and effort you put forth.