Why Seniors Need More Excused Absences


Graphic made by A. Guo

This upcoming time period is essential in managing the already over competitive culture within Green Level.

A. Guo, Editor-in-Chief

An ECU acceptance letter on an instagram story. Gasps at standardized testing scores. Triumphant whispers of UNC-Charlotte admission results. Comparing GPA numbers to the thousandths. Tweets of AP test scores. Green Level has a problem.

College acceptances, rejection, and deferrals have begun to occur for those in the senior class and the competitiveness of the process has only increased. 70% of graduating high school seniors are always or often stressed about applications. Catherine Kirch, a senior from Green Level, speaks on the topic, “It has definitely been stressful, especially trying to balance all the essays and information to fill out with schoolwork and any other activities.” 

Green Level and the Triangle area is also known for its competitive culture, with neighboring 27519 schools Green Hope and Panther Creek placing 3rd and 4th in the state (behind NCSSM, an early college, and a charter school). Kirch describes how, “All the talk of GPAs and class rank certainly adds to the pressure and at this point I don’t really think it’s helping any of our mental healths.”

Furthermore, college applications overall have also gotten more selective, with universities like Harvard and MIT’s applicant pools increase by 57% and 62% while the number of acceptances staying the same.

This year is the first in Green Level’s history for a graduating class: it is crucial to start a culture in which unnecessary comparison and stress is limited within the college application process. A very tangible way that to do so would be to excuse absences on large decision days like UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State. If decisions come out during the school day, it will lead to inevitable cries from distinctly contrasting emotions. While some kids will gloat, glee, and sob tears of happiness over acceptances to their dream university, other kids will cry over rejections. The anxiety-triggering question, “Did you get in?” has already broke into daily conversations, but will only become more harmful if students have not had time to process their rejection.