Point: Do students start college preparations too early?


Michaela Gawley, Staff Writer

Underclassmen  at Schreiber are placed under an immense amount of pressure to prepare themselves to get accepted to college.

Instead of focusing on getting into a specific college, there should be more emphasis on achieving to the best of your abilities and enjoying the high school experience.

It is important to work hard in school and do as well as you can, and placing pressure to focus on college takes away from the learning experience.  This added pressure makes the educational process less enjoyable.

When underclassmen are pressured to take on a more rigorous academic course solely to help them get into a better college, it can have many negative consequences.

Focusing on college too early can also take away students’ enthusiasm for learning, and can take the excitement out of their classes.

“High school should be a time where students explore their interests, and then take on advanced courses in these areas,” said social studies teacher Mr. George Muhlbauer.  “Ultimately, this upper level course will help them to prepare for college.”

When students take on a more challenging work load in order to mold themselves into the perfect applicant, they lose the satisfaction that comes from taking on a challenge in order to better themselves, and miss out on the true purpose of education.

It can also be harmful for students to create Naviance accounts as underclassmen because it can discourage them;   Naviance’s estimates do not evaluate students as individuals, but rather show numerical data that may be skewed.

Colleges are looking for students, not dots on a graph, and each applicant’s unique strengths affect colleges’ ultimate decisions.

Application essays, activities resumes, recommendation letters, and supplements all contribute to a student’s individual value as a college applicant, and Naviance tends to ignore these additional facts.

Because underclassmen may not understand this fully, making Naviance accounts so early may create problems.

Seeing this information before having a solid understanding of Naviance and the information shown on it’s various graphs will likely cause unneccessary stresses.

“Beginning college preparation as underclassmen distracts people from focusing on expanding their knowledge,” said senior Benny Scheckner.  “Let’s live in the now!”

When underclassmen are pressured to begin studying and preparing for standardized tests, this can inflate their scores beyond their actual capabilities.  This often can lead to students ending up in classes or in a college environment that is not a good fit for them.

There is a fine line between encouraging students to strive to challenge themselves, and pressuring students to apply to colleges that are beyond their reach.

“I think that college is there to serve the students,” said senior Chris Hart. “Not the other way around.”

Placing immense pressure on underclassmen in order to prepare them to get into a particular college can cause negative consequences.

Students who are under immense pressure are often extremely stressed and sleep-deprived.

“As an underclassman, I felt an incredible amount of pressure to perform in order to get into a certain type of college,” said Abby Harari.  “The stress I placed on myself caused me to not enjoy school.  As a junior, I now have a better understanding of time management and an understanding that I will end up at a college that is right for me.”

There is an exorbitant amount of pressure placed on underclassmen to prepare themselves to be the ideal applicant for college.

As underclassmen, students should focus on learning as much as they can, and doing their best in school.

There is much more to individuals than their grades and it is important to keep in mind that there is a college for everyone.