How college advice should be given to freshmen


Claire Seinsheimer

Freshman Lucy Haire reads The Compass Guide to College Admission Testing.

Afraaz Malick, Staff Writer

Throughout my freshman year, I have heard the phrases: “Join all of the clubs” or “Try to work ahead,” but the most common one is “It is too early to worry about college.”

The outstanding College Counseling team has stated that they purposely keep interactions with freshmen and their parents to a minimum. In accordance with the “it’s too early” philosophy, they believe that freshmen should begin their high school experience by adjusting to the Upper School.

However, peer leaders, who are seniors assigned to guide freshman advisories, visited with freshmen during advisory to offer advice about navigating the college search and application process. We listened to three seniors talk about how many colleges they applied to, how many they visited and how many essays they wrote.

I have no problem with this philosophy being contradicted by freshmen college meetings; however, I believe that these college-oriented events could be re-organized to be more beneficial to freshmen.

Although I appreciated the information from the peer leader meeting, I felt that it would have been more effective if the meeting had been organized into a panel system that would allow freshmen to ask more questions. The mentioned aspects of the college application process are not relevant to freshmen as we do not fill out applications until senior year or visit colleges during late sophomore or early junior year.

By learning about aspects of college applications that are more relevant to freshmen, we can better prepare ourselves for the future and alleviate the stress we feel about the application process. I feel that freshmen are unsure of how to approach things such as standardized testing. This topic would have been more relevant to discuss in the peer leader meeting as some freshmen will be taking SAT Subject Tests this summer.

Furthermore, my older siblings have advised me to not only focus on my resume, but instead explore my passions. This advice also extends to the fact that getting into an Ivy League school isn’t as important as finding a school which fits our own personal style. I believe that this philosophy should be stressed much more at St. John’s instead of the competitive feeling that surrounds students.