"College admissions." If hearing these two words doesn't send a sudden, involuntarily shudder through your body, you're definitely not a high school student right now. And when you get to senior year, every week seems like a new obstacle course filled with different checklists, meetings, forms and due dates -- and this is on top of the pesky day-to-day schoolwork you have to do to actually graduate.
Despite the best intentions of the adults in your life to help you figure it all out -- from your parents to your high school guidance counselor to the stacks of SAT books you have at your desk at home -- it can be hard to know exactly how you're supposed to feel about the whirlwind of confusion, stress and excitement that goes along with figuring out the post-high school "future." That's where our series Mission: Accepted comes in.
Last year, HuffPost Teen introduced you to three high school seniors, selected by Minds Matter -- a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping high-achieving students from low-income families -- who documented the monthly ups and downs of the college admissions process for us. Our bloggers explained how to navigate financial aid, essays, school visits, and, when the letters finally came, how they felt about their acceptances and rejections. Jada, David, and Jennifer gave us an intimate look into the anxieties they felt, and how they overcame them over the course of a year, as they completed their mission: to end up at the college of their choice.
Anangie is from Boston, and in her first blog post shares the pressure she is feeling about writing her college essays.
"I want to show the Anangie that has a big voice, but can also be a good listener. The Anangie that hustles down the hall to class, but still stops to say hi to everyone. The girl that values time at home with her family in Boston, but spends her summer helping underprivileged communities in Peru." Read Anangie's full post here.
Alberto is from Chicago, and he's worried about fitting enough time into his schedule this year.
"The ability to balance things has never been one of my strengths. I'm not always very good at fitting things into my schedule, and I'm worse at organization. If you take a look inside my school locker or my room, you'll find a mess; even I sometimes have trouble locating my things." Read Alberto's full post here.
Toshe is from Los Angeles, and she is thankful to have mentors on her side as she begins to narrow down her lists.
"I've had several conversations with my mentors about my college applications; many of these talks begin with me telling them how nervous I am and how 'I just can't.' But they always remind me of how hard I have worked for three years, how far I have come, and that I 'absolutely can.'" Read Toshe's full post here.
Emily is from Ohio, and she admits to feeling a tad overwhelmed by the amount of work ahead of her.
"Sometimes when I look at the Common Application, I want to scream. These colleges want so much from me: a personal statement, supplement essays, teacher and counselor recommendations, test scores, transcripts, application fees and pretty much every single fact about me and my life. Heck, I'm a little surprised they don't ask for my blood type." Read Emily's full post here.
Bookmark our Mission: Accepted landing page to keep up with Anangie, Toshe, Alberto, and Emily throughout the year, and tell us: What advice would you give our bloggers as they start the application process? What makes you most excited -- and nervous -- about heading to college? Sound off in the comments below or tweet @huffpostteen!