Are Juniors Preparing for College Earlier than the Seniors Did?

Henry Coleman November has just arrived, and with its arrival comes the first college application due dates. For the class of 2018, preparation has entered its final stages: essay writing, supplements, and the like. But for this year’s juniors, preparation has already begun. Their early start on the admissions process has highlighted a major difference between them and the seniors, who seemingly started their preparation much later in general. I talked to Dean Melonides and Julian Lee-Zacheis, a senior and a junior, to find out just how, and why, the two grades have taken such separate approaches. “I started a little later than most people in my grade, but that hasn’t worried me or anything. I try to stay even-keeled and I’m not very stressed out,” said Dean in response to his viewpoint on the process. “I don’t think [starting preparation later] has had much of an effect at all.”  Interestingly enough, he seemed to suggest that he was an outlier in starting later as opposed to earlier, or at the “normal” time. Later, he said that “a lot of people did start early, but most of them tend to keep to themselves about the process so it’s hard to know exactly.” Could it be that the high school’s assumptions about the seniors have been misinformed the whole time, or is it simply the juniors who are the outliers? Julian very straightforwardly answered, “I think anyone who doesn’t follow the schedule of the test prep class at Latin is going to be an outlier, since the general consensus is that it’s the best option unless an individual has a strong reason otherwise.” In addition, both students agreed that there would obviously be some variation by year, as the decision of when to start preparing for college is unique to each person and affected by different factors. What I found most interesting was Julian’s skepticism on the widespread belief of the juniors’ early start. “I’m not fully convinced that the juniors have started earlier,” he said. “I think mostly it’s that, at a school like Latin, the stories of the few juniors that have [gotten early starts] get passed around, so it seems like there are a lot in that boat, while in actuality, the majority are using the same time frame as every other year.” Maybe you still believe the juniors are starting earlier, or that the seniors later, and maybe you don’t, but one thing is for sure: comparing the college processes of different grades isn’t quite as black and white as it may seem.]]>