The Columbus School News Portal

The Discoverer

The Columbus School News Portal

The Discoverer

The Columbus School News Portal

The Discoverer

Crossroads of Destiny: TCS Seniors Navigate University Applications

As the school year progresses and slowly ends, high school students begin to improve their grades, finish assignments, and think about what comes next. For most students, this year is like every other, but for seniors, it’s their last year, which means making important decisions that will change their lives and impact who they are.

For those applying to universities abroad, the application season is close to being done. With all U.S. university applications needing to be submitted by January 15, and European University spots trickling down, Colombian applications are all that’s left. We decided to talk to some seniors and ask them to give us insight into the college application process and how it has impacted them over the last few months.

“I think the most pressure I felt was getting everything done in time and making sure that it was close to perfect, especially because there’s no guideline for how you should apply to college, and everyone’s essay is going to be very different. So I think that was the hardest part, making sure that I was showing myself with no set structure,” Senior Juanita Urrego said.

For many, stress was a big factor in their lives as seniors applying to university. For those aspiring to the Ivy League and other prestigious universities, grades and extracurriculars were a big worry. For those studying in Colombia, deciding their career path and which university to pick also weighed on them.

“I was apprehensive about messing up because, while I now realize that one tiny grade or one less activity won’t decide if I get in or not, at the time, I was sure it would. It made me stressed having to write essays and complete all my schoolwork while not being sure if going abroad was the best choice for me,” Senior Mariana Mesa said.

Additionally, the application process is more challenging considering that it can generate conflict in interpersonal relationships. This can cause strain between parents and peers, making it more stressful for students to complete all their work and meet the deadlines on time.

“I think they’ve (parents) made me more stressed because they’re always asking how’s it going, and I’m someone who prefers to do things on my own so they’re constantly asking me about what I need to do and what I’ve already done. It’s kind of stressful,” said 12th-grade student Urrego.

However, only some parts of the application process are good, and many students state the positives about this process. Through academic intensity, the journey to university applications for high school seniors is a crucial way of self-discovery. In this pivotal chapter, academic challenges intersect with personal growth, helping seniors define themselves.

“Seniors are going to be very resilient because the college application process is complex, but I think this stress makes it very valuable when the university allows you to study with them, especially because you learn how to deal with it and grow from it,” said Senior Isabella Lopez.

In recent years, there has been a growing number of students who are studying abroad. In the 2022 – 2023 school year, over 63 students decided to apply to universities abroad. A chance for a better and more specific education, living on one’s own and gaining independence, or experiencing different cultures are part of the things that the future holds for those studying abroad.

“I feel that schools in the country have improved a lot in the last 20 years, and you can receive a quality education both inside and outside. The thing is that outside the country you also get the opportunity to be immersed in other cultures and experience things you necessarily wouldn’t while studying here,” Mesa said.

On the other hand, attendance in Colombian Universities like EAFIT and EIA has remained strong, with more than 50 students per year ultimately deciding to remain in Colombia for college. The opportunity to meet new people, have more time at home, gain independence, and experience the professional realm within Colombia are distinct opportunities that Colombian universities give students.

“I think that while Universities abroad are great opportunities, studying in Colombia is great for my future since I will be able to make new friends and socialize with a wider realm of people who will become my peers in the future. I also think that staying home and maturing a little bit more is great,” Pedro Gonzalez, a grade 11 student, said.

As college applications slowly begin to end and students who aspire to study in Colombia and abroad await the response letters from their dream universities, they’re getting ready to spread their wings and become young adults. What is sure to be an exciting time for all of them, with learning experiences and personal growth, TCS Seniors are set to begin a new chapter of their lives.