• Vivian Hirschfield

Applying for Colleges Brings New Level of Stress

By Vivian Hirschfield For many, a new year means a fresh start or updated goals. For me and nearly everyone else in my junior class at Lake Forest High School, it means the process of applying to colleges is coming soon.

Vivian Hirschfield is shown visiting Denison University. She will have her first meeting with a Lake Forest High School college counselor in April.

I can’t lie -- it’s scary. The grades I get this semester help determine an important part of my future, which is a lot of pressure. I’ve thought about what that future could be. A previous column I wrote talked about how I know I want to write for the rest of my life, which means a major in something like journalism to further my passion. I want to go somewhere warm, which rules out a huge portion of the country. Most importantly, I want to go somewhere I’ll find joy.


To me, college will encompass newfound freedoms, people, and subjects. College is a place where people learn a lot about themselves, but that comes with a lot of stress beforehand.

Every adult I’ve talked with has said something along the lines of “it’ll all work out,” but that doesn’t change the stress I feel when I think about leaving home for a new beginning. If you’ve read a few of my other columns, you’ll know I’m all about stress tactics to make life easier in general, but I’ve had to find different ways to make myself feel more prepared for a change that’s hitting me right now.


I have started the application process for a few summer writing programs. I’m excited at the possibility of going around the country and learning lessons from new perspectives. I’m lucky to have the support system my school provides, like college counselors (one of whom I’m meeting with in April -- wish me luck!) as well as my family. But decisions like this have to come from my heart.


Vivian Hirschfield is a junior at Lake Forest High School.