Class of 2014 Gets Schooled

Blaike Young After lingering around a little in the pit and grabbing the blue Latin folders with our names on them, the class of 2014 and their parents sat in the Wrigley Theatre for the junior class’ first ever official introduction to the college application process world. The presentation covered what you would expect, sort of a “Who What When Where Why How” type thing (Who: All of us, obviously. What: College. Duh. When: Starting this year, finishing senior year. Why: Because most Latin students want to go to college. 100% of students do go anyway, whether they really want to or not (although Latin students are typically the type to actually crave further education). How? Well that question took a longer explanation. It was answered by delving deeper into what college counseling does and how it helps students in processes like standardized testing and choosing the right schools to look into. One thing that was said right of the bat was that a big intention of the night was to help relieve some stress that has undoubtedly already caused several major or minor breakdowns among a lot of my fellow classmates (and, I won’t lie, me). For some, it was a mission accomplished. Emily Salzman said she “thought it was informative, and after [she] didn’t feel as stressed.” Sometimes (most of the time) the unknown is scary, so equipping students with knowledge about what to expect probably helped achieve this goal. However, some students walked out of the theatre not feeling anymore enlightened than they did before. An anonymous junior mentioned: “it was things [they] already heard. [They] didn’t learn anything new.” Several other students I asked were impartial, saying they didn’t really have an opinion (Which, in my opinion, is better than walking out feeling like two elephants have been plopped down on each of your shoulders). However, the fact that most juniors felt they already knew everything the counselors had to say only goes to show how proactive Latin students are in securing their future and educating themselves about their education. The presentation followed the college process of “Suzy Roman;” we were shown her extracurriculars, her list of college choices, her priorities when looking at schools, her standardized test scores, and of course, her grades. Suzy Roman had nearly straight A’s. The college counselors gave this example a cautionary warning: “Don’t worry. Most students at Latin do not have this many A’s.” One junior told me that: “the person they used as an example was inappropriate and that made me nervous and probably made a lot of people nervous.” So, if there was one aspect of the night that went against the goal of de-stressing people, it was probably Suzy. Now remember that blue folder I mentioned? My favorite part of the night was when Ms. Pleshette said something along the lines of, “parents, raise the folder if you are holding it.” Some parents raised the folder. “Now look at the name written on the folder.” It was the students’ name on the folder, not that of the parents.  I had been holding my folder, even after my mother kept trying to take it from me the whole presentation. I proudly gave a little chuckle to my mother. Anyway, the point isn’t really that I’m a control freak, the point, and the real takeaway, was that we have to be responsible and care about the process, we can’t leave that job all up to our parents. And our parents in return have to trust us to do so. They have to trust us to hold the folder, and not lose the contents inside (or our sanity,  although I’m sure the losing our sanity part will happen frequently). I’m not sure it would be normal if my class doesn’t occasionally have a breakdown that will inevitably involve two men consoling us during our panic attacks: Ben and Jerry; after all, stressed spelled backwards is desserts.]]>