From the end of August through the beginning of April, anxiety and stress accumulates on the shoulders of seniors in the hallways of Wilton and high schools around the country as college acceptance and denial letters fill mailboxes. Every complaint and every worry somehow seems to trace back to college, whether it be performing well on midterms to get into a regular decision school or quell senior slump as much as possible third quarter to hold on to a spot after being accepted.
What bystanders of such hysteria do not see is the stress amounting from the applications themselves. Most colleges in the United States have adopted a universal application called The Common Application, which requires full background, academic and extra curricular information as well as a 500-word essay. Many schools have developed their own supplements to The Common Application, which generally require an additional essay of the same size more specific to the personality of the college. For people applying to 10 or more schools, that could mean at least 10 essays to write on top of schoolwork.