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The Student News Site of McCallum High School

The Shield Online

The Student News Site of McCallum High School

The Shield Online

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The CommonApp cold

The pressure of college application deadlines can be harder on immune system than flu season
Caroline Owen
The Class of 2024 is catching an extreme case of senioritis, making CommonApp deadlines comes with extreme stress and even physical side effects.

If a patient is experiencing symptoms like compulsive class skipping, constant exhaustion and non-stop daydreaming about life beyond high school, the doctor may diagnose a severe case of senioritis. In many cases, this affliction makes the college application process even more stressful than it already is. But for the Mac class of 2024, a collective case of senioritis has presented itself in a different way: kicking things into full gear.

Anyone who takes a trip over to the @maccollegecareer Instagram will be greeted by an array of smiling faces posing next to CommonApp’s famed “Submitted!” screen. This has been the case since the second day of school, when the first application for the class of ‘24 was submitted in college counselor Camille Nix’s room. This just goes to show how ahead of the game this group of seniors has been.

Finishing applications by January or February is an accomplishment as is. Submitting through the early action deadline, Nov. 1 (and in some cases as early as mid-October) is honestly another level of impressive. While seeing the congratulatory confetti and satisfying check mark on CommonApp is one of the bright spots of the college application season, the road to these moments is a stressful one.

I had poured in my blood, sweat, and tears to get to this point, doing basically nothing in school or at home besides my applications

As someone with infamously poor time management skills, I didn’t make things any easier on myself by cramming most of my application checklist into the span of a month. The only thing that did make October easier was pitching a tent and campfire in Nix’s room.

I planned to submit applications to four colleges before the early action deadline. On Halloween, just one day before, I still had two incomplete applications. I wasn’t all that worried; all I had left to do was write two brief supplementals before submitting.

I had poured in my blood, sweat and tears to get to this point, doing little in school or at home besides my applications. I was behind in my classes, sleep deprived and hadn’t really spent much time with my friends and family for the past month—so when Halloween rolled around, I was excited to finally call it quits. I got home from school, finished those two final supplementals, pressed submit and breathed a sigh of relief that I was through with early action at last.

But of course, the stress and lack of self care of my month of CommonApp cramming finally caught up to me. After going to sleep a little before midnight on Halloween, I woke up a few hours later with possibly the worst throatache I’ve ever experienced. Not only was I sick, but my neck was suddenly decorated with a gazillion little red dots. In the following five days, a few visits to the doctor revealed that I did not have strep throat, the flu or COVID. Whatever mysterious virus I had, as well as the hives that spread to my arms, legs and chest, were a product of stress.

And if one thing’s for sure, it’s that my immune system was just as ill-equipped for the CommonApp cold as it is against senioritis.

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    Seamus DillonJan 19, 2024 at 3:40 pm

    This is a good and well-written article. It sounds very accurate and the writer does a good job about stating facts and not having this article be to opinion based.