Seneca Valley seniors prepare for their last year of high school


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College application form

Caila Rentz, Staff Writer

The 2016- 2017 school year has begun.

A new year means making fast adjustments, such as waking up earlier and attempting to cram after school jobs, activities, homework, and studying into the limited seven or eight hours before students go to sleep.

Seniors have it even worse. According to, stress levels are so high for seniors as the upcoming decision they are making dictates where they will be for the next few years and possibly the rest of their life.

“Even though senior year is going to be stressful, this year is something I’ve looked forward to as it is our last year of high school before college,” says Seneca Valley senior Jessica LaValle.

LaValle, like most high school seniors, approach this school year knowing all the work that’s to come with applying for colleges and filling out applications.

Most students are in the midst of writing college essays and narrowing down the list of schools they are interested in. Chloe Ruffennach, another Seneca Valley senior, fits this description perfectly. “The whole process is a bit nerve racking,” she stated.

Choosing which college to attend is the difficult part. Although filling out countless applications proves to be a strenuous task, looking through college descriptions and what majors they offer may be more time consuming.

There are multiple important details, such as location, available majors, class size, and the style of on-campus living that play in to whether or not a certain school is the right fit. states that key question to ask when looking at different colleges is, “What factors do you rank as most critical-and which schools seem to excel in those areas?” As a senior, it’s a good idea to at least know one’s strengths, not necessarily what field you want to pursue in college.

When asked where she saw herself in a year, senior McKenna Burke said she would possibly be attending the University of Dayton or Penn State. “I like both of the school’s atmospheres,” she stated. “The size and where it’s located seems to be a pretty good fit for me and they both have good programs that focus on my major.”

In just a few months, the answers to these questions will likely be different. Students will start to gravitate toward a few specific schools, will have applied, and will be awaiting a letter back with information regarding their acceptance.

Senior year is the final wrap up of all the effort students have put in over the last few years. As long as students stay focused during these first months of the school year, the rest of the year will be smooth sailing from there on out.