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College Confusion

Growing up, you always hear adults say, “You need to go to college and get a good job.”

However, it’s not as simple as it seems. Junior and senior years can be scary for students who are on the college-bound track. Nothing truly prepares you for the long and confusing application process you go through when you’re choosing colleges.

Sometimes it seems as if there are no clear, straightforward directions telling you exactly what to do, from the SAT to when you formally accept your invitation to a college or university. For students who have parents who are not as involved, or who may not have gone to college themselves, the process can be daunting.

Many students don’t understand the importance of their SAT score, even though our teachers and counselors say how important it is. They think it is just another test they have to take. Some students don’t know they can schedule college visits in 11th grade instead of waiting until senior year.

Sometimes students aren’t informed about applying for scholarships, so some of the smartest students have missed out on college altogether because they were unaware, or scared to take the steps they needed to take along the way.

One of the best ways to make sure you are on the right track during your junior and seniors years is to communicate with the counseling staff at your school. Even as a freshman or sophomore, you can start planning ahead so that you don’t end up behind in the college process.

West Side Academy counselor Tanya Flonoury recommends that students take control of their education early on.

“It is essential for students to own their educational journey,” Flonoury said. “The best way to do that is to pass all of your classes and know your credit and grade-level status. Make an appointment to see your counselor around mid-November and again around mid-April to review your transcript.”

She added: “We can’t wait to see you.”

Johnnie Hornsby