Sixth formers reflect on the college process so far and look ahead to what is next



Feir Zhou ’23 submits her college application.

With H-term in full swing, students at The Hill are taking a well-needed break from many stresses of the school day. That is, except for the sixth form. Often deemed as “the extra class,” the college process has faced much disruption over recent years due to COVID-19 restrictions. These anomalies, in addition to the rigor of Hill students’ daily commitments, have produced an interesting terrain for the 6th form to navigate.

“For the sixth form, the covid pandemic has been a part of their story. Last year, students doing gap years became super common, and many colleges overenrolled their classes. Testing is also a concern, as many students who apply to schools abroad may seem less competitive without certain test scores. But for the most part, we have seen a return to where we were before the pandemic.”

Within the 6th form class, 90% of students submitted an Early Decision or Early Application form as of the November 15 deadline. Students will receive a response within the December-January timeframe.

“With the initial submission, you feel elated and accomplished. But the waiting game produces a lot of anxiety. A lot of students just do not know what to expect, so they need some time to reset,” Co-Director of College Counseling Lauren Hoyt said.

Maggie Classon ’23 found her college admission experience to be similar to the one described by Hoyt.

“It is a lot less stressful having submitted an Early Decision,” Classon said. “When you submit an ED, that is the one you are really concerned about, so a lot of the stress is relieved. But it is also really nerve wracking because that is the one school you really want to get into.”

Though Classon felt some sense of relief after submitting her applications, she also found the overall process to be “discouraging” and pointed out that the experience also brought negative aspects to student life.

“This is culmination of whole high school career, then you get to it, and you realize how incredibly competitive it is,” Classon said. “It also created a sense of competition between students who are applying to the same school, you can’t help but compare yourself.”

Despite this anxiety, some 6th formers had a much different experience. A few students had an easier time applying to college.

“For me, the college process was not stressful at all. I never had to worry about writing multiple essays,” Hunter Sloan ’23, who committed to Bucknell University last June for wrestling, said. “I’m just grateful for the opportunity to be committed, I mean I see how hard my peers work and how stressful this process really is.”

Some students even found the college admission process to parallel a growing sense of maturity as they also became young adults through high school.

“I have thought about it in the sense that there are responsibilities I have to fulfill,” Colette Zidek ’23 explained. “Being held accountable is so important throughout this process. It has been encouraging, but it is hard not to be worried about the future.”