Seniors feel the confusion and anxiety of applying for college
January 17, 2017
Go up to any senior planning on attending college and asked them to describe how they’re feeling about their upcoming future in one word.
Many students would say either nervous or excited.
The transition from high school to college can induce stress on both students and parents. Some students already got accepted and are worried about having to maintain their grades to keep their acceptance, while others are anxious about getting accepted into their school of choice.
Senior Austin Culp says he is already starting to feel “senioritis” and just keeping good enough grades to keep his acceptance and to apply for scholarships.
While Austin is currently thinking about going for either biomedical at Penn State or physics at West Chester, it hasn’t always been that way. Choosing a major was tough.
“I used to want to do chemical engineering but chemistry is not something I could do forever,” he said. “I shadowed with an engineer who told me what it takes to be each type of engineer and how difficult the schooling is,” says Austin.
Along with getting accepted into college come numerous other concerns as well.
Guidance counselor Mrs. Caitlin Hawkins says students often worry about how to pay for college and everything that comes along with it.
“The biggest concern students have is probably worrying about paying for college or that they won’t be able to pay for the college they got accepted into,” Mrs. Hawkins said. “Another concern students commonly have is they’re worried about getting accepted into college. Lots of students don’t know exactly what they want to do and they need help figuring out what major they should go into and finding a job after college.”
Students filled out 880 paper applications this fall, she said. The most popular schools students apply to are: Penn State, other state schools, and other nearby private universities.
“If students do apply out of state it is usually because they have family close by or for a specific reason,” she said. “Out-of-state schools have higher costs, but the schools can send out good scholarship money because they look for students all over the country.”
The guidance office encourages students to ask questions and seek out information to make the process of getting into college easier.
“We have resources to help them and if we don’t have the exact resources they need, we can help them find what they’re looking for,” Mrs. Hawkins said. “Also, if students already got accepted into a school and they know where they are going to school, use resources of the school they are going into.”
She also recommends finding someone from the school and talking to them. “They can connect with that person and become familiar with some people so the school doesn’t seem so new and scary.”
Applying to college may be confusing, but it is ultimately a big decision that requires help from family, friends, and teachers.
“College is a big step and is one that you should be talking to people about. Talk to your parents, teachers, counselors, and find scholarship opportunities and courses to take that will help you in the future.”