So Close Yet So Far – A Thought on Senior Year

Michele Winter, Editor-In-Chief

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As any other studious senior, I have a bucket list of things to do when I get to college. However, for years I have always felt that the day I would be able to complete such things would never come. Now, I feel that graduation is running towards me at breakneck speed and there is nothing I can do to prolong my time at North Providence High School. After school comes work or sports practices, then homework, and meanwhile, there are college and scholarship applications  to complete and SATs to study for. One of the most important choices of my life will be made during one of the busiest times of my life.

While some may say that high school is the end, I have set my mind on going to college from an early age. However, the reality of the whole ordeal did not completely settle into my mind until recently. The one institution that I choose to study in will be from a pool of thousands of possible choices. Four years will then either lead to my future career, or even another four years of graduate school. This sequence of events is just that – a sequence that relies on the occurrence of the previous event. I will not go to the college of my choice if I miss my application deadline or do poorly on my essay or tests. There are also Early Action and Early Decision deadlines as well as interviews and different requirements in order to apply for each college. All of this information is needed to set the sequence in motion. However, what I have been noticing is that many seniors are not familiar with all of this information – the difference between Early Action and Early Decision and how to apply to the college of their choosing.

Near the end of junior year, we were given booklets on the college application process that would broaden our understanding of what we would do senior year. Needless to say there were only a handful of students that actually read them. However, these students unknowingly place handicaps on themselves. Without knowledge of the Common Application or even the schools that do not accept it, how are these students supposed to apply to college? The fact of the matter is that they simply cannot. Last minute questions are tragic for the student who has only minutes left to send in his or her application.

When wrought with questions, we are encouraged to seek assistance from the Guidance Office. There are rows upon rows of college booklets that give insight to the individual application rituals that each school requires. In a thick folder, there is also a master list of in-house scholarships, open to all of the seniors of North Providence High School. The Guidance Counselors are there to help with anything application related and have the ability to send transcripts in a matter of minutes. When interviewing Mr. Paone, he explained how North Providence prepares its students for higher education.

“We start in grade nine, by making sure students know about joining activities and keeping up their grades. We also introduce them to the PEP process in literacy skills,” states Mr. Paone, “Through sophomore and junior year we monitor the students through the PSATs, researching colleges, and planning their careers.” I then asked whether or not he thought the students were well prepared for the application process, to which he replied, “Yes, because there are constant reminders in the morning announcements as well as the reminders we give during the skills classes.” The scholarships, including the community and in-house scholarships, can be found in the Guidance Office.

However, as a senior, I personally feel that I should have been more informed about the entire application process. As an intern for most of my years in high school, the information sessions given during the skills classes slipped my grasp and soon the deadlines piled up without my knowing. I highly recommend that those who intern, take time and visit the skills classes to stay up to date with the requirements. Also, applying Early Action or Early Decision to any college will help you become ready with the application process and ready you for Regular Decision. I myself am taking my own advice and hope my lessons will help others as well. Good luck!

 

By: Michele Winter

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