College Stress to College “Yes”?

Senior year is a year of fun and excitement, but most of all, stress. College application time has rolled around, and so have all of the college fears of soon-to-be high school graduates. Preparing for a successful future is incredibly important to many Apopka students, two of those being Jennifer Cifuentes and Ethan Dean. Their skills and academics have given them the direction they tend to go, and their futures are bright. However, they’re heavily focused on going down a great path and there are many things that they and we can all do to prepare for a bright future.

The thought of college may be an overwhelming one, however, there are a lot of helpful resources to guide you through this difficult process. With Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA’s) and college applications, it’s a bit troubling to get everything in on time. FAFSA’s have much time to be completed as they are open now until June 30th, however, the first round of applications will be looked at starting December 1st. As for actually applying to schools, you have some time. The University of Central Florida (UCF) has a deadline of May 1, and Florida State University (FSU) has a deadline of March 1st. These are just two of the many Florida colleges, but some deadlines have also passed. The University of Florida’s early admissions deadline was November 1st, with this being Ethan Dean’s top choice. Applying to UF was probably one of the most stressful things Ethan has had to do these past few months, as applying, in general, is “about an 8 on the stressful scale”, and mainly because of the many college essays to be completed.

For undocumented students that unfortunately cannot apply for FAFSA, there are still many resources available to you: Resource for Undocumented Students

Scholarships are also incredibly important to our future in college. Bright Futures is a Florida Scholarship program that can cover as much as your entire tuition. Ethan Dean and Jennifer Cifuentes both qualified for full Bright Futures this year, however, there are many more scholarship opportunities available. A great guidance counselor here at Apopka High School, Mrs. Tolentino granted us with a few more scholarships students can earn. QuestBridge, The Coca-Cola Scholarship, National Merit Scholarship, and the HOPE Scholarship are just a few that students here at Apopka can apply for, and if you’re looking for any help, our College and Career Specialist, Mrs. Houston is always available by appointment in the Student Services building.

Another step of the application process is the college essays, as it speaks volumes for your character. Many teachers have offered their help and guidance through this writing process, but many students still run into the problem of not knowing what to write about. For example, Jennifer Cifuentes had many struggles when trying to narrow down a topic to write about, which may be a concern of many students. Jennifer states that she has “so much to write about that it’s a little difficult to express.” College essays may be no easy task, but it is a relief to complete.

Also, if you’re struggling with an essay there’s many great examples here:

We all understand that the college process is time-consuming, but with the help of our school and resources, we can make it better. All hard work pays off, so don’t give up! Your future is waiting.