TOWNSEND: Seniors need to take advantage of their resources


Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

The dread that courses through a student when asked about their plans as far as their college career is unlike most feelings of fear. College applications, for most, determine one’s future on a level that kids our age should not be subjected to; to make such a difficult, heavy and important decision so early in one’s young adulthood would cause quite a bit of stress, would it not?

As a first generation college student, I’ve been extra tense trying to figure out how FAFSA works, what to make of the Common App and how to start applying to select UC campuses without much knowledge or guidance from my family. I have been fortunate enough to have teachers and close friends help me get started on the process, but if I’d had to tackle this entirely on my own?

I would have been a mess.

So naturally, when I heard that Roseville High was offering seniors and their parents a night to work on their college application process with the constant help of the school’s advisors and counselors, I assumed that at least half of the senior class would take advantage of that opportunity.

When my mom and I arrived that Monday night at six, I was honestly quite surprised to find that tables filled just under half of the cafeteria, and of those tables, about a quarter of the seats were left empty.

So we sat down. It was, after all, only the very beginning of the workshop. The counselors had put together a slideshow for us all to follow on the Chromebooks provided while they went over the key points. A woman gave my mother flyers that listed some commonly asked questions on the CSU applications, and my mom and I also got to go over the personal insight questions asked by UC’s on their application.

Some students arrived late, which gave me hope, but at the same time, seniors and their families would leave early.

As the night went on, counselors would meet with students and their guardians, and go over in depth any questions had. I met with my counselor Mr. Bradley and he actually cleared up a lot of my stress about the college application process. We were even able to talk about what fields I could go into with what major I may end up choosing to submit.

We were able to finish this whole process by around 7:30 p.m. I became one of those students who left early with their family, having been helped and put at ease by their counselor and having used the opportunity given to us seniors as much as I could. Had more students shown up, I’m sure that the workshop would have been utilized more thoroughly throughout its whole duration.

College applications require a lot of effort and time to assure their best quality. It just confuses me that when given a space to sit down and dedicate time to doing just that, seniors do not take that opportunity and run with it.

In fact, many of our seniors are not aware of the resources available on our very own high school website, located (conveniently enough) under the tab labeled, “resources” clicking on this tab alone provides us seniors with a whole section on “College Exploration,” including how to go about financial aid, college athletics, letters of recommendation – even a digital copy of the presentation given on the night of the college workshop.

I know I’m being sort of hypocritical in saying so, but hearing my friends and peers laugh off their applications, and watch them procrastinate while all of these resources are readily available is really disappointing. I wish we as a class had more motivation to buckle down and strive to do our very best in this potentially life-altering process. Finding that motivation is difficult, and the counselors do what they can to give us tips and methods of relaxation; but the counselors cannot take our stress away on their own. We have to take the methods they give us, and apply them to our actual schedules and lives. That is easier said than done, but if we stay organized, we may be more motivated (writing something down makes you more likely to get it done!).

My advice here is this: sit down and schedule yourself time to work on college apps. I actually made a calendar and put down that on certain days I would take time to work on the college process; whether that be looking up and applying for scholarships, utilizing the common app, or beginning my essay applications. That not only relieved my stress (because I love planning and journaling), but it is also something that I will do my best to stick to and hopefully in the end get my applications in on time.

Seniors, it is time to start getting serious about college. Trust me I don’t like hearing that either, it scares me too. But it is true and we ought to make use of any time or opportunity given to us in this respect.

To be honest, I wish that I started to dedicate more time to the application process much sooner than I did. Maybe even in the later parts of my junior year. So it is time to get things in motion.

Seniors, juniors, even underclassmen: the way to get out of a problem is to get into the solution. To alleviate some of the stress put on us by college apps, start working on them. Use your resources to their full extent to ensure that you are putting your best foot forward in this endeavor.