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College Bound: The Senior Journey

Mrs. Pat Brubaker and Mrs. Barbra Elliott are happy to help seniors discover their dreams along the college path.

Senior year is often described as the big year. What seniors really think about is being the “big dogs” on campus, prom and senior privileges. However, the most stressful, yet important part of the year is applying to college.

The knot feeling in the stomach has already begun for many seniors. College decisions affect futures, at the very least, the next four years of life.

Application deadlines, resumes, college essays and transcripts are putting some seniors on the edge. Mrs. Brubaker, Dean of Student Development and Guidance, says, “I really cannot believe how much of a difference I can see in the students’ behavior and attitude when I talk about college with them.” Mrs. Brubaker thinks seniors get a major reality check.

To help prevent college stress, Mrs. Brubaker recommends deep breathing and the elimination of procrastination. When seniors spend way too much time procrastinating about the whole college process, even more stress is created. Some seniors have everything figured out; they have sent in their early decision applications, and the lucky few have already decided upon where they are going to college. Others are not even close to being prepared or deciding.

Other seniors who are not as stressed out are relaxed because they think everything happens for a reason. Mrs. Brubaker advises all seniors to “control what you can control.”

College has been the big talk since freshman year, and all that talk has become very realistic for seniors now. The halls are filled with conversations about where to go and what the chances are of getting in. Mrs. Elliott, one of the college counselors, says many students like to stay in the area and go to Ohio colleges like The University of Dayton and Miami University of Ohio.

Looking at colleges can be so diverse that there are some students looking as far as California. “The colleges where Gilmour students want to attend vary each year,” says Mrs. Elliott. “Applying to your number one college is the most stressful,” Mrs. Brubaker says, because you have no control over if they accept you or not.”

Both college counselors agree that seniors need to make sure they apply to many different colleges. Gilmour students are known to be prompt when it comes to college tasks due in part to excellent college advisors and opportunities like writing college essays in English classes.

Counselors and teachers show how much they care and want to help. Seniors need to take advantage of available help. College stress may be inevitable, but seniors can control it.

Ms. Tracy Stockard has joined the Gilmour Community as the Director of College Counseling. She also welcomes the opportunity to help seniors navigate their college-bound journey.