Colleges- Why are they so complicated? | Teen Ink

Colleges- Why are they so complicated?

October 22, 2007
By Anonymous

For this interview, I have talked to Nicole, a freshman at my high school. Nicole is one of my oldest and closest friends. Since we are graduating in four years and leaving our childhood behind, I thought she was an ideal person to interview about college.

In this interview, Nicole talked to me about the pressures of college. She confessed as to why she thinks colleges have gotten more competitive, and what high school students can do to avoid the stress.

As long as I’ve known her, Nicole has had a lifelong dream & plan for college and what comes after. She has elaborated on that topic, as well.

Overall, she gave some interesting personal insight on her opinion about the complications of what is to come in the next four years.

Sammi: Have you been talking about college since you’ve entered high school? What have you talked about?
Nicole Faerman: Yes. I have talked to my guidance counselor during my English class. Ms. Lizzaro said that colleges are difficult to get in to. We talked about the transcript and GPA.

SR: Have you and your parents had a talk about college recently?
NF: Well, we haven’t sat down and had a talk, but every now and then, my mom says to do your homework and study all the time so that I can get into a good college.

SR: Briefly describe why you think the whole “college process” is so difficult.
NF: I think the college process is difficult because it’s competitive. If you don’t have better grades than somebody else who applied to the same college as you, they’re going to take the person with the better grades.

SR: But what do you think happens if you do more activities, like clubs, community service & sports? Do you think you and that other person are now equal?
NF: If you do participate in after-school activities [above], the colleges will take that into consideration as well. I don’t think that either person has an advantage or disadvantage in this scenario. It depends on what the colleges are looking for.

SR: Only about 35% of college-age students actually attend 4-year colleges. Why do you think this is so?
NF: In my opinion, some people think that they should be finished learning in a school environment after high school.

SR: What do you think high school students can do to improve their chance of getting into the school they want?
NF: I think that the students who want to go to the college of their dreams will work as hard as they can and hopefully, their hard work pays off. The students who don’t work hard will not get into a college of their preference.

SR: Many high school students are pressured to get into a good college. It seems that during high school, there is no room for mistakes. Do you agree with this? Why or why not?
NF: I do agree that there is no room for mistakes and students are pressured to get into a good college. I think that you had your time to make mistakes in younger grades. In high school, it’s time to take responsibility and think about your actions before you do them.

SR: Why do you think that students have to stand out and be well-rounded to get into a good college?
NF: Because colleges don’t want students who don’t meet the expectations of many people.

SR: How and why do you think the process of being chosen for a specific college became so competitive in the past few years?
NF: I think it’s always been competitive. It’s just that teachers are improving in high schools so students are improving, so the expectations of the colleges are higher. I also think that students are starting to care more nowadays. They’re thinking more about the future and the jobs or roles they will take on.

SR: Do you think there are any “side effects” from the pressures of being chosen for college? If so, what are they and what would you recommend students do to stay afloat?
NF: I think that there are “side effects” from the pressure of being chosen for a college. Those “side effects” are stress. I think that students should plan ahead to stay afloat.

SR: Do you think that that stress could lead to anything serious?
NF: Sure. The pressure and competition might make people turn to drugs or alcohol. Or maybe they become alienated from their friends, because their life is consumed by college applications. It can definitely lead to serious issues.

SR: Have you dreamt of going to a certain college since you were little? What was it? Do you still want to go there? Why?
NF: Yes. I would like to go to NYU. I decided I wanted to go there a couple of years ago. I have my whole life planned out. I want to go to NYU because it has a good acting school, so I’ve heard. I will live in an apartment during my college years. I still hope to live in New York City and have children and raise them there and continue my acting and singing career in New York City, hopefully, on Broadway.

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