Podcast: Seniors Feel College Admissions Pressure

As the National College Commitment Day fast approaches, many seniors prepare for the next steps in their life after what many are calling a turbulent college admissions season


Annie Smuts

The back of a scoreboard at The Big House at the University of Michigan shines for pedestrians on Main Street in Ann Arbor.

In the fall, many seniors applied to various universities all over the country. When many sent in their applications, they knew they had to wait until the spring to get decisions back. Now that time has come around. National College Commitment Day is May 1, but some seniors—like senior Jahow Yu—have known where they are going to school since December because of the Early Decision admissions cycle.

“The security of knowing where I’m going early on in the school year was a massive relief and it allowed me to enjoy senior year more,” Yu said. “However, I’ll admit senioritis hit me harder and much earlier than it did for my friends that applied regular decision.”

Yu went into the college admissions cycle feeling pressured. He knew that his family had invested a lot in his success, but he still was a bit confused by all the jargon.

I, like a lot of other kids, didn’t really understand the process as well as I would’ve liked,” Yu said. “Between the FAFSA, Common App, testing and other parts, there are so many nuances and requirements that I wasn’t aware of.”

When approaching filling out applications, senior Emily Hart had a different approach than many. Hart only applied to two schools—the University of Michigan and Michigan State University—but knew she wanted to go to Michigan State from the beginning. Both her parents and her sister went to the university. Because of this, her parents gave her a lot of freedom with applications.

“My parents let me apply anywhere I wanted but have always pushed me towards Michigan State,” Hart said. “I felt like I had to apply to [the University of Michigan] because everyone does and all the hype is around [it].”

Senior Kaylin Jung said felt a more intense pressure compared to what Hart felt, with many of her friends applying to many high-caliber schools, but she made sure she ended up applying to the schools she truly liked.

“I did feel some pressure to apply to competitive schools, but I applied to schools I could see myself attending,” senior Kaylin Jung said.

Jung stresses staying true to yourself and maintaining balance while going through the college admissions process, as she believes the applicants wants and needs should be put first.

“Don’t stress too much,” she said. “Although everyone puts so much pressure around college admissions, don’t let it make or break you. It’s only a small part of your future and you will be successful wherever you go.”

For another perspective, listen to senior Viji Jambunathan talk about her experience getting a full-ride to Michigan State University, causing her to choose Michigan State over the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.