The news site of Miami Palmetto Senior High School

The Panther

The news site of Miami Palmetto Senior High School

The Panther

The news site of Miami Palmetto Senior High School

The Panther

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Pick Me, Choose Me: College Admissions Selectiveness

For most high school seniors, October through January are the most dreaded months of the year. During this time, seniors labor over their computers, racing to complete their college applications in time for deadlines. However, seniors do not only push themselves in their final year; getting into college is the finish line at the end of the marathon that is high school.

For the past four years, I have worked tirelessly to have outstanding academics and extracurriculars so I would have something to put on my college applications. The sleepless nights I spent toiling over my AP U.S. History textbook, the countless tears I shed for my B in AP English Language, the hundreds of artworks I had to memorize for AP Art History: all of that effort… and I am still guaranteed no security.

Miami Palmetto Senior High has an outstanding record for student admissions; each year a handful commit to some of the most selective schools in the country such as Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Duke, University of Pennsylvania, Brown, Columbia, Vanderbilt, University of California Los Angeles and more. This reputation is a lot to live up to. I worry that the fact I am not president of every club or captain of every varsity sport or in the top one percent of my class will make me less worthy of being accepted into these schools.

I am often riddled with the fear that I will not be accepted anywhere. A voice constantly echoes in the back of my head, telling me that I should have taken that extra AP class sophomore year, that I should have joined more honor societies and that I am not good enough. Listening to admissions officers describe their ideal applicant, I feel like I relate to the person they describe. Yet, I know that the chances I have of getting into the overwhelming majority of the schools on my list are slim to none.

One can pour their heart into an application, and spend months crafting it, but it still does not change the school’s acceptance rate. Growing up, every kid aspires to go to schools like Harvard and Yale, and with wide eyes and big dreams, it seems possible for a time. However, as you grow older and come to realize that colleges receive applications from thousands of qualified students, this goal can fade into fantasy. The process is draining, but I try my best to remind myself that I will end up in the right place, even if it does not fit my idealized childhood image.

Mrs. Dwyer’s office has become a second home where I, among hundreds of other seniors, seek refuge — especially during draining school days. The warmth of her fall-scented candles and comfy couch cushions soothe the perpetual pit in my stomach. Aside from applications and rushing to meet the looming Nov. 1 deadline, seniors must also balance difficult classes, mountains of homework and their extracurricular obligations.

Junior year is commonly known as the most hectic and crucial year of high school, and while there is truth behind this notion, it often overshadows the struggle that is the first semester of senior year. Last year, the pressure was on us to compete with our peers for the best academics. This year, the pressure is on us from teachers and parents to make it to the last stop of high school.

In just a few months, this weight that has burdened my shoulders for the past four years will be lifted. It feels surreal that the goal I have worked towards my whole life will be completed. By June, all major high school milestones will have passed: Homecoming, Senior Picnic, GradBash and Prom. After I walk across the stage wearing a white cap and gown and shake Ms. Dobbs’ hand, I will no longer be an MPSH student, but an alumni. In my heart, I will always be a Panther, but I am more than eager to see what becomes of all of us in the next chapter of our lives.

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About the Contributor
Jasmine Judge
Jasmine Judge, Business Manager
Jasmine Judge is a senior and the Business Manager. This is her third year on staff, and she looks forward to organizing fundraisers for The Panther and making the student body more aware of our publication. Aside from newspaper, Judge enjoys cooking, playing lacrosse, driving and listening to 1989 (Deluxe) by Taylor Swift.