As Junior College Night approaches, students share concerns on college admission process

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This coming Thursday, multiple schools will pay a visit to the Townsend Harris auditorium for Junior College Night, offering students the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the visiting colleges. Junior Class President Sharon Li will be leading the discussion, asking pre-planned questions to the panel of representatives from schools such as Ithaca College, Barnard College, and Geneseo University. Leading up to this event, many juniors have expressed their concerns about the application process and what’s in store for them. 

When considering the admissions process, several juniors revealed that they were uncertain about their next steps. Junior Fabiha Samiha stated, “To be honest, I feel like I’m in the middle of the spectrum of being prepared for college—in other words, not being too unprepared, but at the same time not exactly being prepared either.” 

Lack of communication and awareness was a contributing factor to this, as some expressed concern over not knowing about college-related events. “I feel like sometimes I’m just not informed enough about things in regards to college, or that I hear about them too late,” continued Fabiha. 

Junior Benjamin Babayev specified that the factors he found confusing are “early admissions and their categories, different types of college applications involved, what can make you stand out in an application, how race affects your chance of acceptance, etc..” He added, “I have a general understanding of the admission process, but I am still not 100% confident that I know what I need to know to optimize my chances of admission.” 

For those who are confused as to what steps to take toward their college application process, Guidance Counselor Jeremy Wang advised students to complete the junior questionnaire: “Take the time to think through and write about your experiences and activities. Give it some thought because this is going to prepare you for your college essays, which is about yourself.”

Still, many students appreciate the school’s effort to ensure that their students make informed choices. Junior Joyce Zhang said, “I do like events like the college trip and the junior college night because they do put in the effort to help us prepare for college.” Junior Alexan Varelas agreed, adding, “I enjoy visiting the physical campus of possible schools. If anything, I’d want more events like that.”

Several juniors are optimistic about the upcoming college night as well. Junior Xu Dong said, “I would like to get a personal view on the college experience. Since the college representatives have a firsthand account of their respective college, I think I will receive information that is not readily found online.” Junior Itamar Hindi agreed, saying, “Getting to talk to the college representatives and ask them questions directly would really help in determining which colleges I prefer, and also getting experience with speaking with those who are involved in the process,” 

Senior Maria Leyba reflected on her own college admission process: “The college application process may seem intimidating at first, but once you speak to your guidance counselor and have everything organized prior to the deadlines, it isn’t as stressful as you’d think.” 

Senior Shane Werther also emphasized the importance of staying organized: “You can easily get stuck under mountains of work on top of your school work and feel overwhelmed, so using a little bit of your summer [before senior year] to get started could be helpful. Make sure to get a calendar or a planner… You don’t want to miss a deadline or a date for a school you wanted to attend just because you forgot the date.” 

Though the college admission process can get stressful, Mr. Wang concluded, “Don’t rush through anything. I know you [all] have a lot on your plate. Your transcript is the most important part of your application. So work really hard, and don’t let go of any challenges. You’re going to get through this.”