College Decisions: How We Know Where We Will GoSunday, April 15, 2012 By Caroline Cerand
Finally, the end of senior year! We seniors have so much to look forward to like the senior picnic, graduation, and our last summer before going out into the real world. How did this happen, in what feels like such a short amount of time? The whole college process made junior and senior year goes by so fast because there was more to focus on rather than school. By the end of senior year, everything about the college process, from searching to committing, is over. Deciding where and how to leave home is probably one of the toughest things a high school student will have to face. Some people knew where they were going from the start of their freshmen/sophomore year. Others didn’t find out until acceptance letters started piling into their mailboxes. “I never really felt that I had an option,” said senior Tiffany Chin. “I always assumed that I would go to a four-year school; thats’ just how I envisioned my life.” Chin has decided to go to Dickinson College next year. Usually seniors end up going to a four-year college, but another choice that is highly recommended is starting out at CCBC, earning an associate’s degree there, and then finishing at the college/university of their choice. “CCBC is a good school compared to other community schools in the state. It’s a good option for people who want to save money and earn credits and then transfer,” commented senior Shyam Patel, who will be attending University of Maryland College Park in the fall. For most, the college process started at the end of junior year, when counselors and teachers helped students figure out which future plan best suited them. The students who took Advanced Placement U.S. History last year had classes after the AP test where teachers Gerri Hastings and Kate Hamill, and counselor Barbara Vogel, would teach the students about college sites, the SAT/ACT, and other useful things related to the college search. “The workshop answered a lot of questions,” Chin explained. “I pretty much already had my list done, so I already knew where I was looking and it was a good way to talk about the process with people who knew what they were talking about. The most helpful part was the mock interview because I had no idea what to expect and this way, I knew what to expect in an actual college interview.” The summer between junior and senior year was the best time to visit colleges because there was no school work to make up, and the weather was perfect to look around the beautiful campuses. Also, when it came time to narrow down the college lists, the beauty of the campus was big factor in deciding whether to apply to that college or not. “I pretty much only visited colleges that were small liberal arts. What the campus looks like, the perks of the campus, and the overall feeling of the campus is extremely important,” Chin mentioned. So, after we decided if going to CCBC, a four year college, or trade school was our best choice, it was time to apply. But once all of the applying was done, the waiting began, which, according to many, is much harder and stressful than actually applying. “It was very nerve-racking because I knew which schools I was capable of going to and it took a long time for me to get my reply,” said Patel. “I knew some of the schools I was going to get into. The financial aid process was a little lengthy because I knew some people who received their financial aid two weeks after their acceptance letters, but it took a month for me to find out about mine.” After the flood of acceptance letters came in, many seniors finally knew where they were going. However, there were still some who needed to make the choice between multiple college choices. “There is absolutely nothing easy about it, pretty much any difficult decision you have to make in your life is compiled into this,” Chin exclaimed. As time ticks on, we finally know where we’re going to be next year. Although the craziness of applying are over, this is our first taste of the real world, having to do things by ourselves and getting things in by a certain deadline.