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Finding Hope: Managing mental health while applying for college

Posted: 6:33 PM, Oct 30, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-01 12:44:11-04

BOISE — In 2015, only 51.52% of Ada County high school seniors and 37.16% of Canyon County high school seniors went on to attend college. For students across the country who made it to college, a study done by the American Psychological Association says anxiety affects 41% of them while depression affects 36%.

The studies might suggest that getting to that point is some students breaking point — test after test, application after application, even one rejection letter after the next. Applying to college can be a bumpy and often times long road. Students work round the clock to outdo their previous report cards and extra-curricular activities and while managing a hectic academic load are studying and then taking tests like the SAT or ACT.

There is lots of time, money, and emotions invested in this process, and for what? The opportunity to be considered to attend their school of choice?

Seung Grizmala is a senior at Borah High School, and unlike most of her peers she knows where she wants to go to school, what she wants to study and has a general idea of how to make it all happen-oh, and if it doesn’t work out the way she planned, she’s got a back up plan for the back up plan. But even though Seung feels prepared, she finds herself struggling with the process and all that it entails, “I think that’s the hardest part of all of this… just like, nothing is for sure.’ Her biggest fear is relatable among most college-bound seniors, “Will I make it? Can I make it through?”.

Jenni Kimball, Borah’s college and career counselor, tells 6 On Your Side that she understands the college process is hard for her students, “there is a lot of anxiety that is associated with that because you’re constantly comparing yourself to everyone else.” When rejection letters start rolling in from a student’s dream school, they often question, “am I good enough?”

The pressure seniors are under today to go to college, declare a major, and get a degree can feel daunting, especially when college doesn’t feel like the right fit for you. Kimball says it’s not her job to ask students, “what college do you want to go to?” But instead, “what do you want to do after high school?”.

Options Kimball offers her students include but are not limited to:

-Trade Schools
-Military
-Community College
-Apprenticeships

For the students that are overwhelmed by any option, feel they’re not ready emotionally or even financially, Borah High School does have additional resources to help you. The academic counselors on campus are there to support student’s educational and emotional needs. Kimball says she encourages her students to visit the counselors, and if there’s a student in need, the school will do whatever they can to support them.