Christel Jean Baptiste also contributed to this article.

For the class of 2023, the past three years of high school have been rigorous in bringing its many challenges ranging from COVID, quarantine, and coming back to school. Nevertheless, students have made a tremendous effort to jump through those challenging hurdles and are almost at the finish line of their final year. 

Some people say that as they get closer to the end of their senior year, the pressure rises and becomes almost too difficult to handle. Students are now brought up with the difficulty of juggling between schoolwork, college essays, recommendation letters, and the biggest question above all else. What do I want to do with my life?

“What’s next?” That’s the question most seniors are currently asking themselves. As most seniors are thinking of what their next step is, some are looking into going into the military, entering the work field, or going to college, while others are taking a gap year. Some are ready for the next chapter of their lives and others are just ready to take a break. 

Leilah St Fort, a senior in the CO'23, plans on going to college immediately after high school which comes with its own set of challenges. As a high schooler, looking forward to diving into a new environment can be stressful due to the preparation process. There are multiple components that can tend to engulf your senior year if you are not careful. 

St Fort is currently working on filling out her FAFSA applications, working on her college essay, and figuring out which college she will hopefully attend. “This year has been by far the most stressful year that I've experienced in a while” St Fort states. Much like other high schoolers, St Fort is no different. Everyone is trying to climb their way to their version of success which will require a great deal of intense work, and discipline. 

The college process cannot simply be dealt with with a simple wave of a hand, but instead needs time and effort to be able to see progress from the work put in. Though it is time-consuming, students of Malden High School left and right are constantly reminded that they are not alone in tackling this challenge. 

Administrators, teachers, and faculty members of the high school know it can be too daunting of a task when handled alone which is why there are many resources laid out for seniors to assist them. “I have my college advisor helping me with my financial aid process. I have Ms. Quinn. who is keeping me calm and collected whenever I need therapy, and I also have teachers and counselors that are also helping me with my essays,” stated St Fort. 

Krishany Marius is an eager senior that is “ready to go.” With all her responsibilities as captain of the Malden High School Step Team, her short-term goal is to pass all her classes and do what she needs to do to be done. Marius is also transitioning to the next set of captains for the Step Team. Marius wants to leave on a “good note” for all her extracurriculars. As for her long-term goals, she just wants “to be happy and manage everything” that she has going on in her life peacefully. 

In order for Marius to achieve her goals, she’s going after school to get the help that she needs “even though it’s a little risky and challenging.” She also said that she’s trying to ”see what she has to do and get it done.” 

Her most difficult part of school compared to other years is filling out college applications. Which is exhausting since you're “bouncing off of everything all at once while still having to do schoolwork.” 

When asked about having resources to help with the college applications, Marius said that she knows about the resources but “doesn’t use them enough.” Marius says that the feeling of senior year is “exhausting because everything is going by so fast, like a big rocket.” 

Needless to say, whatever career - whether it’s the workforce, military, or higher education - to any senior, the feeling of overwhelm is in the air. Yes, there will be road bumps along the way, but all of that will not matter by graduation day when they are all going to end up where they are supposed to be. 

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