With the end of the school year right around the corner, this year’s juniors are closer than ever to their senior year. While many students are looking forward to “ruling the school,” being in first also means being closer to the finish line. The seniors-to-be want to make the most out of their final year at McNicholas.
“This is my last chance to leave my mark on the school,” said junior Will Mehring. “I’m excited for college, but I don’t want to move on yet.
Now that the juniors are preparing for their final year, they have to start thinking about college and their future. Many have already begun taking their ACTs and SATs. Over the summer they’ll be visiting colleges and working on their resumes. Once school starts, many students are taking AP classes to get ahead. Their thoughts are consumed by majors they could study and what to do with the rest of their lives. College applications can be due as early as November. Students will be filling out forms, writing essays, requesting letters of recommendation, and applying for scholarships. Once their acceptance letters arrive, they have to make the final decision of what college is best for them.
Many McNick students are worried about the busy year that is ahead of them. Out of everything, the overwhelming majority of students said they were most worried about their college decision.
“I’m nervous about applying for colleges because I’m not sure where I want to go, or where I’ll be accepted. It’s a big decision,” said Kennedy.
Corrie Sheshull said the college search can be a little overwhelming. “I’m very nervous for the whole college process,” Sheshull said. “There are just so many to choose from.”
Guidance Counselor Nancy Aniskovich said that choosing a college is an important decision that most students get stressed over. She said the best way to know a college is “the one” is to visit the campus. “The way a campus feels is very important. It’s all about the right fit. You don’t know if it’s the right fit until you’re physically there.”
Senior Ben Schmidt encouraged the juniors to apply to lots of different colleges, even to schools that seem out of budget. “Apply everywhere that sounds interesting to you. Try not to let money decide where you apply. The more expensive schools usually give really big scholarships, even if you’re not at the top of your class,” Schmidt said. He said the college he is attending, St. John’s University in New York, costs about $50,000 a year, but he got over $30,000 in scholarships and financial aid. “Also, get your work in early. The sooner you turn [your scholarship and financial aid forms] in, the more money you get.”
Getting into college and choosing the right one isn’t as daunting a task as it can seem. It’s all about working hard and taking advantage of the opportunities available, so that colleges can see how great each student is. Once each student finds the right school, they’ll know. As Aniskovich said, “There are over 4,000 colleges in the U.S. There is a right school for everybody.”