The Falconer

When is it too early to think about college?

Emalou Dublo, Staff Writer

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From the moment you begin school it seems like parents are already thinking about the future. More and more people are encouraged to go to college and further their education. Going to college is something every person thinks about at some point in their life. But when is it too early to think about college?

In Shenandoah county students are in the same schools from the time you start elementary school till the moment you graduate high school. It gives students more time to make a plan and enjoy their schools. “I started thinking about college in 8th grade and have stuck through with my plans.” said senior Alisia Turner when asked when she began her college planning. Other students waited until their junior year before thinking about colleges like senior Carston Shockey. “Junior year, because it’s good to start thinking about it and looking at your options.” said Shockey after being asked when he thinks students should actually think about college. Every student has their own opinion on the right time to begin thinking about college and it all depends on each student.

In more populated areas kids have more options for school. This is more of a curse than a blessing. With more schools it means that getting into the school a student wants is more competitive. Students have to apply to middle schools; each middle school is different and has different education levels. Getting into the right middle school can determine what high school students get into which can determine what college to get into. This is a lot to put on young students.

Applying to colleges seems stressful to students. One little application can decide the course of the rest of your life. High school is filled with enough stress without having to add on the unknown future. Many parents have a favorite college team and often push their kids to apply to that school. Learning about schools that are in state and out of state can be hard for students, especially if they don’t know what they want to study. In the eighth grade students pick their classes for their freshmen year of high school. Many students have no idea what classes are offered or what classes they even need to take. All this added together creates chaos for students.

There is so much going on in the school it sometimes makes students feel alone when it comes to their educational future. The school is actually more helpful when it comes to applications than more students actually take advantage of. “I feel like they’ve only done the absolute necessary things for me like sending transcripts.” said senior Bree Pifer when asked if the guidance counselors were helpful. The school’s guidance counselors are always willing to help with college applications and any thing you need to help further your education. There are so many resources just on the walls of the guidance office that students can take advantage of. On one of the walls there is a map of the United States with all the colleges you can apply to in each state on the common application website. It takes little time to sit down with your guidance counselor and talk to them about whatever help you need.

Many students feel pressure and stress when thinking about college. There are so many negative emotions that students connect with applying to colleges. The reality of the situation is that there is so much time in life and college is not the most important part. Students do not need to panic about picking a major that they have to keep. A majority of colleges make switching majors painless and even help students who switch majors keep on track to graduate on schedule; even transferring from one college to another is seemingly painless. “I think it’s important for them to realize you don’t need to have your whole life figured out so young and to enjoy high school while it lasts.” said Pifer, giving great advice to younger students. The less stress students put on themselves, the easier the process is.

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When is it too early to think about college?