Leah Gans | La Jolla Country Day Junior
|The Sandpiper welcomes its new Roving Teen Reporter,
Leah Gans. Photo Art Olson
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“Where do you want to go to college” --the dreaded question every high school student is relentlessly being asked. While Freshmen have brainwashed themselves into giving an impeccably unrealistic reply, Sophomores are beginning to show signs of severe self-doubt. Beware of Juniors as they rant about GPAs, acceptance rates, and SAT/ACT scores, while Seniors recite the list of schools they have already applied to, or plan to apply to, including their chances of actually getting in. “No one really does seem to have a clear answer,” said TPHS Junior Melanie.
When asked this question, SDA Junior Maria shares “I’m not going to get in anywhere because of my ACT scores, and the fact that I have not experienced any major hardships in my life, which means I don’t have a good essay topic about overcoming outrageous obstacles.”
“I find college to be a huge competition.” Complains LJCDS sophomore Shana, “Education has become less about learning and more about getting into college. Extracurricular activities aren’t for enjoyment, but are just to help shape one’s application. That’s sad.”
SDHSD students are incessantly battling the pressures of applying to college, making virtually every decision in their lives based upon that goal.
“I know I want to go to a good college, but I don’t really know why,” said TPHS Junior Michael.
Should getting into college be so overwhelming and life-consuming? “Everyone is infected with future fever, and the only cure is participating in this ludicrous race to nowhere,” states LJCDS senior Brandon. He went on to say that “The kid next to me is always going to have a higher GPA, be a better athlete, and probably even be more involved in the school then I am, but what can I do to set my self apart from him?” This is a question every SDHSD student and every student in the country is trying to answer. Students over-book themselves, signing up for more clubs than they can count on two hands, playing 3 varsity sports, taking 5 APs, and trying to maintain a social life. “Yet the kid next to me is still managing to do more,” said LJCDS Junior Tanya.
“The key is knowing your limits,” advises LJCDS Senior Abby. “You need to know what you can handle while still being happy. Everyone is different and colleges want students that stand out, so be yourself and work to your ability and you will do just that.” Having endured over two years of this race, I wish I could convince myself that’s all it takes.