As seniors are committing to their respective colleges, juniors are beginning their own journey into the world of applications, admissions and everything in between. On Feb. 12 and 13, juniors were given a glimpse into the college world as 11th grade students left their English classes and met with their counselors to discuss the process.
During these group meetings, the school counselors reviewed all of the information necessary to prepare for the college process. This ranged from packets of SAT tips to blank templates ready to be filled with prospective universities; a plethora of paper, all for the sole purpose of getting each student ready for the biggest decision of their lives. “The meeting was the red folder meeting, where we give the juniors the framework for the college process and they can sign up for their individual meetings,” counselor Laura Cope said.
To a portion of juniors, the entire experience was overwhelming and generally terrifying, as many 11th graders have neglected to begin the college process on their own. The sudden introduction to the process has left some juniors worried about their chances of acceptance when compared to others. “My counselor handed me this huge packet with all of this college information and I felt so stressed out by it all,” junior Lauren Yi said.
However, there are juniors who were unfazed by the meetings as they have been familiar with the college process for some time. Whether it be an older sibling having gone through the procedure or being particularly proactive in their university scouting, these students were cool, calm and collected when bombarded with the information received at the meetings. “My sister just went through the college process and I feel like I understand what it’s all about.” junior Jake Geline said.
The divided readiness of the junior class has left counselors hoping for the best when it comes to these students’ success in the future, regardless of their current preparedness for the college process. “Wootton does a fantastic job at getting everybody through the process successfully. Everyone works at their own pace but everyone gets to the end,” Cope said.
Seniors, on the other hand, are far ahead of juniors in the college process, as many of them have already committed to a school. While these 12th graders have their futures relatively secure, some seniors have yet to make their big decision and sympathize with the confused and nervous junior class. “I haven’t committed anywhere yet but I think it’s important to know that it’s not all about the credentials,” senior Phillip Oganesyan said, “You have to be comfortable in the environment as well.”
As a result of the college discussions, counselors will be meeting once again with juniors, individually, within the next few months. These appointments will be a specialized and personal interaction between the counselors and their juniors. During these interviews, the counselors will review the student’s hopeful universities, information about admissions and recommendations, and advice on how to become a prepared and confident college applicant. “I love talking about colleges and getting to know my students on such an individual level is one of my favorite parts of this job,” Cope said.