50th Edition, Education

College hunting causes great stress

By Denebola
Published: February 2011

By Jonathan Zaff, Volume 29
November 23, 1989

The time has come once again when seniors visit colleges, have interviews with prospective schools, and sit down with their word processors to hack out their many dreaded college essays.  At this point in the year, the pressure put on seniors is incredible.  Senior Mike Taylor attests, “We [the seniors] are overly pressured by our parents and Newton South to get into the best college possible.”  Many of the other seniors at South share these pressures.
One source of this pressure is the five-page, pick-seven-of-the-above-twenty-different-topics-for-your-essay application.  Each essay in itself is difficult.  Three essays apiece for six or seven different colleges add up to a very time consuming process. “I feel that there should be one standard application for all colleges because there are so many different types that it becomes a real pain in the nose,” said senior John Fisch suggests.
Many students agree that the most troublesome part of the application is the essay.  “I’m scared of the essay-writing,” senior class president Odessa Franks candidly admits.  But there are others who feel that the tight deadlines are the most distressing.  “With extra curricular activities and homework, it’s tough to make deadlines,” senior Ron D’Innocenzo claims. “You have to make time – time that you don’t have.”
Another form of pressure originates in the senior’s own house: the parents. “Parents out more pressure on us than we really need,” senior Dave Greenberg said.
“My parents are pretty laid back about the whole thing [college],” senior Matt Mazzotta said.  “Many parents pressure their kids but I don’t think that they should.”
Some fortunate individuals are blessed with parents who let them make their own decisions and manage their won time.  “There’s no pressure from my parents,” senior Josh Lakin exclaims.  “They let me do whatever I want.”
With all of the pressures heaped upon shoulders of seniors, it is comforting to know that some are receiving help from South.  “My guidance counselor is helping me find the type of college that’s best for me,” senior Joy Quinn said.
On the other hand, not every senior is pleased with the school’s efforts. “Newton South doesn’t get us aware enough about colleges. We are still kids. We don’t know the way,” one anonymous senior claims.
Despite the onslaught of pressures and responsibilities, some seniors have a more relaxed attitude towards college hunting. “There is a college out there for everybody and as long as you get into one that you like, you’ll be happy,” Fisch explains.
“No matter what college you get into, you should remember that your collegiate life is an experience that you will never forget,” Franks adds.  “Remember that there is a balance of worrying and enjoyment.  Enjoy your last year at South.”

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