Seniors stress as UF deadline approaches

Freshman applications to the University of Florida are due on Nov. 7. A majority of seniors typically apply to UF each year, with more than 20 percent of graduates from last year currently attending UF. College and Career Counselor Angela Feldbush expects a similar turnout in applications this year.

“I’m going to say the majority of our kids will apply to UF,” Feldbush said. “I think because UF is considered the best of the Florida public schools, everybody assumes that that’s where they should apply.”

Many seniors are stressed about how soon this deadline is, as for many, it represents more than just the UF deadline. 

“It’s honestly really stressful when you think that this is the best school in Florida and you want your essay and application materials to be as good as possible,” senior Ryan Canavan said. “It is also stressful because I am planning to submit all of my applications after UF, so they aren’t always in the back of my mind. The UF deadline really represents my overall college deadline.”

Although this sentiment is by no means rare among the senior class, Feldbush says that for many, most of their work is already done.

“[The UF deadline] is not going to be as big of a deadline this year, compared to previous years, because the FSU Oct. 15 early action deadline caused many of the kids to get their stuff done early,” she said.

Even so, these initial deadlines represent just the beginning of the application process with a plethora of subsequent due dates. The UF Nov. 7 deadline also coincides with many out-of-state early action and early decision deadlines, so many students are having to juggle additional supplemental essays on top of their UF application. 

“The next step after Nov. 7 is going to be supporting documents and financial aid and just because you’ve hit that one deadline, it doesn’t mean you’re not going to go back and fill out priority scholarship paperwork and follow up with each institution about what additional aid and scholarships they have available,” Feldbush said. “Then you’re going to be looking at honors colleges, which requires an additional essay for most schools after the initial application.”

Feldbush, who now coordinates with every senior, describes how seemingly never-ending the college application process is. 

“There’s just a lot of steps,” she said. “You think you’re going to apply to college and you should apply and you’re done and then all of a sudden you realize that it’s not that simple. Colleges require follow- up and additional steps and additional forms so people are feeling like there’s not going to be an end to the paperwork.”

This feeling of endless due dates and requirements has left Canavan feeling burnt out and unmotivated.

“Some days, I just want to close my computer and not think about my essay or my Common App ever again because it is so stressful to think about,” he said. “It feels like every decision you make now could permanently alter your future, and it’s scary. It also burns you out when you have to do college applications on top of school and work and other personal commitments.”

Despite the difficulties seniors are encountering, Feldbush is confident that they will get through the process and succeed. 

“It is a lot of work, but I think our kids will be OK,” she said. “Once they get that first application in, they have a majority of the groundwork done. They just have to take it one essay at a time, one application at a time and one due date at a time.”

By Aidan Meyers