College stress hits Ames High

College. The light at the end of the tunnel, the next great adventure, the final frontier, and the great unknown have all been used to describe the next big step in the life of most young adults. However, there is a lot of time and stress that must be invested before one can even consider going to college. What colleges should one apply to? What college should one attend? What major should one go into? Despite these important questions that many students carefully consider before even starting an application, some students actually look forward to starting the application process. “I’m not stressed at all,” junior Emily Linch said. “I’m excited to be going to college since most of my friends and my boyfriend are going to or are already in college.” With 93% of Ames High students graduating and over 70% going to some college, there is a lot of pressure on students to get accepted somewhere. While Iowa State, Iowa, University of Northern Iowa, and DMACC usually claim the majority of Ames High grads, there are still a lot of students that attend college elsewhere. These students face the pressure of not only finding an affordable school, but also breaking the expectation of attending an in-state school. However, there are many problems associated with trying to get into a college of your choice. Many of the so called “dream” schools that many students make it their life’s work to get into are among the most selective in the world. The 2012 fall admittance rate for Yale University was only slightly over 6%, and the other top universities were right on par. With such tight competition, sometimes even the most qualified students do not get accepted. “Applying to college is like drinking a bowl of hot sauce,” senior Ellen Thiel said. “At first it sounds kind of horrible but you want to do it anyway. Once you’ve started you can’t stop or you’ll just be shamed, and then afterwards you get a short but awesome adrenaline rush until you start regaining your sense of feeling and you realize you probably just seriously injured yourself.” Even when you have been accepted, there are still many hurdles to overcome. Breaking the mindset of being obligated to attend in-state college, financing your education and even deciding between the colleges that accepted you are all actions and decisions that could potentially affect the rest of your life. Choosing the right college will determine whether or not you will succeed in your future education or end up simply surviving. However, it doesn’t really matter if you get into the school of your dreams and have every intention of going there if you can’t find a way to finance your endeavor. “I hate how everything is about money,” senior Ella Holme said. “I’m going to a school that I really don’t want to because it’s cheap. It doesn’t even matter how miserable I might be.” Getting into college is one of the coming of age journeys that most people have to deal with eventually. It may not be fun, it may not be easy, but the reward of being able to go to a school you enjoy and fit into is well worth the pain of the application process. Seniors are glad that they are done, juniors are just getting started, and the underclassmen have no idea what they are getting into.