Pressures of college felt early

Pressures of college felt early


ASL hosted the PSAT on October 20, for which there was a high attendance from both the sophomore and junior grades. The test seemed to come as a shock to the tenth graders. Soon after the test finished there was a lot of discussion among the student body about whether ASL has been preparing them enough for the application and transition process into universities in their second year of High School.

The pressure of entering universities and other institutions of higher learning is becoming evident in the sophomore class.

Many sophomores said that ASL has not been doing a good job preparing them for their later years in High School and even further. “ASL doesn’t talk to the sophomores enough about college. The students need more clarification on the process of getting into universities,” Paula Paddack (’15) said.

Recently, in a poll of 40 sophomore students conducted by The Standard where students were asked to rate how important in their lives universities were at this moment on a scale of one to 10 (10 being the most imporant), 55 percent of students polled answered with numbers seven through nine. The students also often commented that they were already worrying about the application process and getting into “good colleges,” one sophomore said.

After being asked where they fit on the previously mentioned scale, the students were asked what are their main influences for having picked the number that they did. Most sophomores responded that a desire for a stable future following their education, as well as parental pressure, were the main reasons behind their choice. “The main source of pressure [upon sophomore students] regarding universities comes from the expectations that are placed on them by their parents,” Laura Jonsson (’15) said.

Even though a large number of sophomores said that they worry about universities at this point because of their parents, many clarified that it was also up to each individual person. “[The main pressure about university comes from] parents for sure,” Matt D’Angelo (’15) said. “They help sway decisions. But I just want to do well in general to have a bright future.”

Most sophomores surveyed said that they feel that they need to start focusing on universities now so as to maximize their chances at higher education, but Grade 10 Dean Meg Bailey offers a different point of view. “You could be taking test prep courses, or college touring, but that isn’t necessary just yet. Colleges pay attention to different things at this age,” she said.

She went on to specify that “students shouldn’t be doing anything apart from what they are already doing.” Which, in essence, Bailey said, was doing well in their classes, getting involved throughout the school, and honing down their reading, writing, and mathematics skills for standardized testing. The rest is essentially not important yet when at this stage in High School.