Underclassmen and the College Process

Gaby Keiderling

Staff Writer

As I walk down the senior hallway, I hear the whispers of colleges and see students glued to their books, their hands rapidly scribbling down notes.  I head back up to the lonesome Sophomore fifth floor, where I pass students squeezed onto the chairs in the lounge, on Tumblr or YouTube showing each other funny clips or pictures.  Sure, there is the occasional student cramming for a class, but the subject of college is hardly ever mentioned.  It seems so far away, something unfathomable.  But in reality it’s only three years away.

Many sophomores don’t think about college.  They don’t think about the looming pressure that will come.  To us, it’s just not a reality.  We don’t want to have to consider the fact that we will only be at Latin for 3 more years and that our time will have to come to an end.  It’s too hard for us to think that we will have to apply to these places that will shape our future.  So we don’t think about it.  We live in the now and we think about the present.  Our parents tell us that we should start working on our grades so that we can get into a good college, but we don’t really listen to them.  We tell them to stop pressuring us, that college is so far away, that we have no reason to think about it.

A common reaction among many sophomores is fear.  “College freaks me out,” Sophomore Maddie Karp says when asked what she thinks about the college process.  Another sophomore Grace Gardner states blatantly, “I’m scared sh*tless.”  She then goes on to add, “I guess I’m just really unsure about it.  I don’t really know what steps to take, if any, that I should be taking to be well prepared for the process.”  Many sophomores are confused.  They don’t know if they should be starting tutoring now or how much their grades will influence admission.  It’s really just hard for us to watch all these juniors and seniors stressing about it, while we don’t really know what to do or to expect.

One senior-who shall remain anonymous-told me that “it’s stressful having to balance schoolwork, sports, and college applications, but if you try getting a head start before senior year it will lighten the load.”  Many other seniors agree with this statement.  As a sophomore, you don’t necessarily need to spend all your time focusing on college, but it’s important to head a bit of a start.  We should make sure to maintain a consistent grade by trying our best.  If we let our guard down as a sophomore, we are just going to make it harder for us as a junior or senior.  We don’t want to look back and think, “Wow, I wish I had just worked a little harder sophomore year”.

I personally am not a lifer at Latin so I had to apply to get into this school.  For me it feels like I just got into high school, so I can’t even think about college.  Freshman year flew by and sophomore year is going pretty fast, so I have to remember that time flies.  One second I will be graduating 8th grade, and then I blink and I’m graduating high school.  It’s important to remember that time catches up with everyone at some point, so we have to keep thinking ahead.  As a sophomore, I am terrified of the college process.  I see my friends getting anxious and stressed, and it makes me worried.  I don’t think I’m ready to go through it.  But right now I just try to remember to keep my grades up and keep working to my potential because that’s the only thing that I can do.

The college process is scary and hard, but we have fantastic teachers to help us through it.  As a sophomore, we should try to keep college still in our minds, but it doesn’t need to overtake our lives.  We should think about the future, but live in the now.