The College Process: Are we Paying for Stress?




The painful, tedious, and grueling college process is something that us seniors are all too familiar with. Essays, deadlines, and supplements seem to consume our lives so much that we are unable to focus on anything else. Everyone tells you how stressful it is going to be, but it is beyond anything anyone could have prepared you for. A lot of students are under prepared to go through this process and find themselves lost and overwhelmed.  While applying for college many wonder and question whether it’s worth it. Is the “college experience” worth everything you went through to get there?

Yaél Bermudez, senior at FSSA feels it is. “I do feel like it worth it because it’s only a small period of stress that pays for good benefits. College opens the doors to freedom, independence and is the start of deciding what you want to do for the rest of your life. It’s like taking  finals before the school year ends, it’s stressful and overwhelming but you push through it and then enjoy the time afterwards,” says Yaél.

However a student that wishes to remain anonymous disagrees. “College is a scam. They train our minds to believe that any amount of money you pay for school will be worth it in the future and that’s just not true. People spend $40,000- $60,000 or they take out loans and can never pay them off. That is not the life I want for myself.”

The price of college has become a rather controversial topic. You are asked to pay something you simply can not afford and financial aid is hard to obtain.

“I don’t qualify for financial aid, but I can’t afford college. What do I do,” asks Maddie Aleman, senior dance major at FSSA.

This is an issue that many of the middle class students not only at FSSA, but in the country are faced with. Based on your parents making a decent and stable salary it is expected that they can afford to send you to school. What they don’t account for is the many bills your parents have to pay and the budget they have for the basic necessities of your family’s lifestyle.

College should not be an excuse for our country to widen the gap between the rich and the poor. Your financial standing should not affect the education you receive. Some of the most expensive programs in the country prepare students for jobs that don’t even have the starting salary to help them pay off their student loans. It is unfortunate that the most financially responsible young adults in this country are swimming in loan debt that they can’t afford to pay off.

Not only do students have to worry about writing the best essay or having the highest SAT scores, they now have to take on the responsibilities of an adult. Strategically looking at the numbers and making realistic decisions when it comes to their future.

According to a New York Times article, “Throw out the College Application System,” the system is flawed. The article says the process does not highlight the creativity, and character of the students rather it favors the achievement robots who excel at memorizing rote knowledge. Even the “trinkets” such as the letters of recommendation or essays are only a glimpse of who you are as a person and what you will add to the campus.

This process only further solidifies the money hungry, power-driven nature of this country that is an expert at leaving the less fortunate behind. This means that the hard working middle class has to keeping fighting for a place in this continuously growing country. A lot of students have yet to figure out if it is all worth it. The countless hours and hundreds of dollars spent on applications, the nerves and the stress. We will have our answer in a few months.

– by Kalia Simms ’15