As sophomores head into their junior year, the college process becomes increasingly present in all of their lives. The same is true for juniors who are in the middle of this process right now. However, in lieu of the next classes go into this chaotic process blindly, The Grace Gazette collected anonymous advice from graduated seniors who have survived the process to help their younger peers navigate these tumultuous, yet hopefully exciting, times ahead.
“WORK HARD IN FRESHMAN YEAR. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should sign up for a large number of hard courses. Take courses that genuinely interest you and work as if you were applying to college next year. Once you reach late soft-more or junior year, you should start thinking about how [the] courses you are taking will affect your application,” one student asserted.
“Really research colleges you want to apply to and be open to suggestions from advisors (even if you think grades don’t matter, they do and end up counting on your GPA). Take philosophy and religion requirements as early as you can (11th grade), maintain a good work ethic, get involved within the community because, before you know it, it will be too late, [and] try to be more outspoken and much more confident since the years go by fast.”
“Prioritize attending student Q & A sessions over info sessions. Info sessions are great but basically, repeat what’s written on the website. A better hour spent is to see how real students speak about their life on campus and the experiences they’ve had,”
“When you are in the middle of the process, it can seem like there is really no light at the end of the tunnel. Especially if you do not immediately get into the school you had your heart set on. So many people will tell you this, but you truly will end up where you need to be. You won’t really believe it until the end of the process, but you will.”
“Define what you’re looking for in a school first (your “non-negotiables”), THEN start reading the Fiske college guide (my favorite book ever) and researching. It’s much harder to convince yourself that you don’t need/want something that you really do need when your list is right in front of you. Don’t let people pass on their ideas of what they like/don’t like to you. You can also use your HS experience to think about what you want to replicate/avoid in college!”
“Make your decisions and have no regrets. There are a THOUSAND paths you could go down but you do what you can with the information that you have. Trust your gut and don’t look back.”
“Remember, it is okay to have the emotions any teenager has: the hormones, the random spikes of anger or sadness, while still going through the process. It is so easy to get sucked into a robotic way of living — trying to finish your essays, get your work in, and study for the ACT or SAT, all while fending off so many nagging kids and adults who want to know why you haven’t yet made the biggest decision of your young life. Remember, you are allowed to have a full range of emotions including jealousy, resentment, joy, and fear. It is all okay.”
Photo taken by Ms. Elizabeth Segre-Lawrence on the day of the graduation ceremony.