As the second semester rolls around, many seniors are beginning to realize just how close they are to the ultimate freedom, graduation. Just when the excitement starts to set in, they realize that there is one final gate holding them back, scholarships.
Most students who are going to attend college are forced to apply for a myriad of scholarships all in hopes of just keeping their heads above water later on. Filling out scholarships requires a significant amount of time dedicated to completing them as well as a straining amount of forethought. On the other hand, when college is all said and done, it is very likely that it will all pay off.
While it is a commonly held belief that seniors (especially second-semester seniors) have practically no responsibilities to speak of, I have found reality to be completely opposite. Seniors are faced with a variety of challenges, ranging from deciding on their future career to playing their swan songs in athletics. Rock Creek seniors that did not choose to go early are additionally bogged down by the ever-present Exit Project. All the activities that the average senior takes part in leaves little time for filling out scholarship applications. What time is left over is generally used for, and in my opinion, should be used for socializing with friends. While many adults may find this a ridiculous comment, I will remind them that they are in fact, the very people who are constantly touting how high school is the best years of our lives and that we should enjoy it. I find it rather insulting when we are told that, and then the next second, we are asked to give up all of our spare time to do paperwork.
Scholarships are also troubling in the fact that they not only require a great deal of time invested in them, but also there is a lot of planning involved. It is quite difficult to recall every significant activity you have taken part in throughout the past four years. Shockingly, it does not matter how many applications you have filled out, you still find yourself struggling to remember everything you need. A good method to help alleviate this problem is to create a master list, or resume, of activities you have participated in. Spend a good hour or so contemplating over what kind of activities you could put on an application and make a document listing everything so that it is readily available whenever you need it. It is also a good idea to have your parents give you a few ideas, too, as they often may think of activities that simply slipped your mind.
While it would be no difficult task to spend all day complaining about the stress scholarships cause, I must admit one fact, it will all be worth it someday. On average, a single year spent at a public four-year college will cost around $14,000, according to the Huffington Post. Additionally, a four-year private college could easily reach $35,000. On top of all that, there is out-of-state tuition that can be easily double that of an in-state student. Despite all these nerve-racking statistics, it has been found that college will pay for itself thanks to the bump in pay degree holders receive. Scholarships allow students to worry less during college; however, it does add significant stress on students when they are in high school. It is just a person’s preference whether they want the stress now or later. In any case, I highly doubt that after having a successful business career and having a beautiful family, anybody will end up regretting the time they spent filling out all those forms.
While scholarships are in no way fun, they an important part of a senior’s list of responsibilities. While they can choose to ignore scholarships, that will just delay the stress, not erase it. I think the key is to make sure you are not taking on too much at one time. Always make sure you leave a little time in your busy schedule for friends, but try to get in a few scholarships, too. Just remember, while it may be miserable now, a few years from now, it may just be your saving grace.
By Devin Muir, Newspaper Editor in Chief
Photo by Devin Muir, Newspaper Editor in Chief