No cap: Time for college apps

Seniors stress over submissions for college


Abby Pedersen

Abby Pedersen visits a college she might attend

Students in the class of 2022 at Vernon Hills High School provided their perspectives from their preparation for submissions of their college applications. Seniors began this process before the start of this current school year, providing snippets of their lives through the hassle of applying to colleges and planning for a future. 

Abby Pedersen 

Abby Pedersen (12) has contemplated where to go for college while stressing over finishing college applications on time.

“I don’t really have a dream school, but schools I’m looking at are Marquette, Butler, and Emory. Maybe Northwestern, so a lot of private schools,” said Pedersen.

Pedersen considered colleges which would meet her standards for her education, and an environment where she would want to spend the next four years. 

She also explained when she first started completing the steps of the college application process.

“I think it’s a pretty lengthy process. I started over the summer with my rec letters, and now I’m just planning on submitting them because the essays have taken quite a while,” Pedersen said. 

Aspiring to her future career, Pedersen stated how being a student at the high school has helped her settle to this intention. 

“I would say I definitely want to major in psychology and possibly criminology. I think a lot of my life experiences have helped me to come up with this major for myself,” Pedersen said. 

Pedersen recollected how significant it’s been for her to be involved in school activities during her senior year, while managing time to complete college applications. 

“I’m co-president of the sign language club, and I’m also a senior rep for the Interact club,” Pedersen said. “So, I think this year it’s been very important to get involved and even take on leadership positions in a lot of the clubs here.” 

Rebdjy Myrthil

Not having a set college yet, Rebdjy Myrthil (12) considered applying to colleges in California. He has dreamed of attending somewhere in California, as he prefers the warmer weather. 

Myrthil said he’s mainly interested in the atmosphere of colleges, rather than focusing on the education the college offers. 

He also described the difficulties in his experience of applying to college.

“Probably the letters and essays are the most complicated parts when applying since it takes a long time. Some of my teachers are helping me with this, though,” he said.

Although the classes he has taken have not been his main source of help, Myrthil has used the teacher’s at VHHS for guidance towards his college applications.

While dealing with high school, Myrthil has participated in sports including basketball and football, both teams in and outside of school. He has also been working three jobs. 

“I’m still thinking about what I want to do in the future. My activities don’t really affect my planning as I manage my work by writing stuff down to make sure I don’t forget it,” Myrthill said.

Myrthil stated how being in sports and having multiple jobs this year didn’t set him back. He used quarantine last year to his advantage.

“The pandemic actually helped me. For example, I mostly had more time to think about what I want to do in the future,” he said. 

Irene Im

Although she already started her senior year with school activities like the color competition and golf, Irene Im’s (12) stress has built up during her experience for college applications.

Undecided on a college, Im has planned on possibly attending either the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, or staying in Illinois. 

Im heavily considered academics when applying to college, but also somewhere she could fit in; she is looking for an engaging environment where she would be dedicated to stay at the school. 

Being a school golfer caused Im to give up valuable time she could’ve spent on her applications. 

“Since I played golf for a long time, I didn’t really have any time to write essays and work on school, but since our season ends early, it didn’t really impact too much,” Im said. 

Additionally, through the school, Im was able to narrow down her search for a college as she was decided on a career through her experience when working as a tutor.

“I currently work at the tutoring center because I want to major in education and become a teacher, so it does help me prepare for my future,” Im said.

Akshan Golla

Clear on what he wants to do in the future, Akshan Golla (12) described his goals as he finished college applications just before the deadlines. 

“I would like to go to [the University of Michigan] in Ann Arbor to probably own a startup, specifically a computer company technology startup. That would be a dream,” Golla said. 

Golla said his current classes including Computer Science A and B have been guiding his interest in learning about Java, providing more education and material he could utilize in his future career.  

Moving to achieve this dream, Golla mentioned how he started his letter of recommendations over the summer, and has been working to complete his essays. 

Golla has managed time for completing his college application while participating in in-school activities. He is a part of the cricket club and is heavily involved in the Indian Student Association, Computer Science Club, and Science Team. With all of these activities on his schedule, Golla described his management of his time between college and sports/clubs.

“[College apps] only take me about an hour after school for me to complete, so it really didn’t affect my time. Because of my sport though, it really affected a lot of my time. However, since my season ends pretty early, I’ll end up doing okay with the time I’ll get back,” he said. 

Lee Bonnett 

Lee Bonnett (12) described their experience applying to the local community college as a chemistry major.

“You don’t really have to worry too much when applying to Community College, since it is for people who don’t have the best financial situation or don’t have the most stellar grades, or just want to stay close to home,” Bonnett said. 

Bonnett said how easy it was for them to complete the application process as it took them around ten minutes to apply to college. 

Bonnett has settled on what they want to do in the future; their classes at VHHS provided more support when exploring career ideas.

“I’m going to be a chemistry major, and I did take a chemistry class two years ago,” Bonnett said. “I think that was one of the best classes I ever took, and I really enjoyed it, which is why I wanted to go into chemistry.”

In order to fulfil their major in chemistry, Bonnett described what they do within their time with school and how they focused on completing their college applications to achieve this goal.      

Bonnett added how they hung out with their friends in their free time, since their homework load wasn’t heavy. They’ve had plenty of time to relax without having to focus on a job or any clubs or sports. 

After COVID-19 hit, Bonnett struggled through their junior year as their time for activities was limited.

“I think I had somewhat of an existential crisis when quarantine hit,” Bonnett said. “It’s just hard figuring out what you want to do ahead of time, so I used time during quarantine to help me out.”