Abigail Keller ‘16, Alexandra Giordano ‘16 – This time of year high school seniors await the acceptance letter to the college of their dreams, hoping to one day take on the profession they have always desired. They follow the traditional college path: apply to a wide range of schools, visit campuses, and re-take the ACT multiple times.
This vigorous process can be stressful. Deciding where to spend the next four years can be one of the biggest decisions a high school student will make.
Any high school senior could admit to dreading family gatherings due to the constant interrogations. Dinner conversations filled with overwhelming questions, “where are you going to school next year?”, “what do you want to do the rest of your life?”, or “what’s your plan for the future?” Not even confident going to the doctors without a parent, seniors are expected to make some the biggest decisions of their life at the young age of 17 or 18 years old.
According to College Parent Central, the biggest fears seen in high school seniors preparing for college are, the fear of rejection, the fear of decision, the fear of leaving home, and most of all the fear of the unknown.
Currently deciding between Michigan State University and Loyola University, Taylor Mueller ‘16, stresses over making what she hopes will be the right decision.
“Whatever decision I make will be a lot different than the other,” Mueller said, “one of them is a giant school in a college town and the other is a private college right out of Chicago.”
According to Jerry Weichman, a specialist in adolescent counseling, “It’s a huge commitment and any doubt in their decision process often increases their stress [and] anxiety—and they begin to question whether they’re making the right decision or not.”
After years of hard work and studying, the amount of pressure put on students to make the right decision, is enormous. Only being 17 years old, guidance from teachers, parents, and counselors is important.
Seniors shouldn’t be fearful of asking for help when making this decision. Independence is important, but not necessary when it comes to the final decision.
The best advice anyone can give is to take each day in stride. Make a list, plan your process day by day and make sure you are open to suggestions from everybody. Seniors at RHS should take advantage of seeing their counselors and talking about things like expenses, applications, and letters of recommendation. Request slips are available in the counseling office at any time.