Reminder bells are ringing, deadlines are approaching, FAFSA is waiting to be filled out–it’s college application season. Over the past month, I have been putting a lot of pressure on myself by juggling college-related work with my other responsibilities. I thought that the holidays were supposed to be fun and joyful, but Santa gave me the wrong present this year–stress.

College applications wouldn’t be a problem if I simply followed my initial plan to write all of my essays over summer. However, since I procrastinated, I kept saying, “I can do that later,” and fell behind. Now I’m overwhelmed with the admissions process, school work and my job.

The fact that I’m a senior now still hasn’t dawned on me either, which is what makes the college application process harder for me. I keep thinking that my GPA is my biggest and only worry. Instead, I’ve been writing more essays than ever, signing up for standardized tests and looking for scholarships.

The pressure saturates whenever the mention of college springs up on online platforms. FAFSA has recently been advertised on YouTube, while emails from universities are being sent out. With the future always being undecided regardless of preparation, desperate applicants like me pressure themselves to ask complete strangers to estimate the likelihood of being admitted to their dream college.

Although I’m more up to speed in the college application process than some of my peers, I still have so much more to do. My college essays have barely reached past a paragraph, I haven’t asked any of my teachers for recommendation letters and the submit button continues to taunt me whenever I log into Coalition.

Don’t be like me–set your priorities and don’t procrastinate. You’ll regret ever holding off your college applications once you force yourself to cram everything in one night. Once you submit your college applications, your rising-college-student holiday might turn out merrier than mine.

Have you sent out your college applications yet?