The C Word


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Reilly Welsh '16, Features Editor

Last year, when it became evident that the junior class was entirely too consumed with the thought of college and everything it entailed, Ms. McNulty’s AP Language and Composition class was officially banned from saying “the C Word” until May. Some students were relieved to have an entire thirty-nine minutes free of stress-inducing discussions about college, and other students practically had to bite their tongue to keep themselves from bringing it up. When May finally rolled around, the “C Word” became fair game, and an important topic over the next few weeks. This was only the beginning.

While the college admissions process becomes more and more competitive, students have started fretting over college decisions both earlier and more frequently. Sometimes, students start preparing themselves for the college application process as early as sophomore or freshman year. While preparing and successfully applying to college is definitely important, the process should not be something causing anxiety when your high school career has hardly begun. Yes, you should work hard in your classes and get involved in extracurricular activities that interest you. No, you should not feel distressed over getting into a prestigious school merely weeks into your freshman year.

As someone who has let herself get consumed with all things college-related, I can honestly say that no amount of worry will help a student in the end. I think one of the biggest factors related to the apprehension students feel about the entire college application and admission processes is the belief that you need to attend a highly esteemed school with a name that everyone will recognize and admire. If you go to one of those schools, it is a good decision if you went because you liked the school and what it had to offer. But, it is equally good if you end up at a school that is lesser known but an equally valid choice.

I truly believe that everything works out for the best for each individual, especially when it comes to college decisions. The most crucial thing to consider in picking a college is that it is somewhere where you will be happy. None of the schools I am applying to now were on the long mental list of schools I had three years ago. Looking back, I would tell myself, and am telling any underclassman reading this, to enjoy high school and not let yourself be overwhelmed by the daunting thoughts of college. Maybe ban yourself from overusing the “C Word” too often, if necessary. You will be glad you did.