College Admissions for a High School Junior in the US

Bloggers Introduction: 

Sean is a high school junior at the Downingtown Stem Academy. I first met Sean at Debate club, where he helped me understand how to speak with confidence. In the following post, he details his life in quarantine, and how the pandemic has changed his approach to school work and the college admissions process. 

“ This quarantine period has been anything but ordinary for me so far. In an IB school, Junior and Senior year are crucial towards things like graduation requirements, assessments, and the college process. This is especially true due to the fact that the IB courses I’m currently enrolled in are all two-year courses. This is an incredibly stressful time for any high school Junior, and these tensions are drastically elevated under the current global condition. 

The main thing that seems to be stressing me and my peers out the most is the college process. Generally, the time period transitioning between Junior and Senior year is the prime time for students to tour colleges and really try to get a grasp on what they find important in the universities they plan to apply to. However, in the midst of a global pandemic, this potential resource has been eliminated. It’s extremely overwhelming to know that there is a very real possibility that this upcoming school year I’ll be applying to schools I haven’t even seen before. 

Additionally, the college application process will be messed up for us. Some students heavily rely on their standardized testing to distinguish them as a highly productive student, and many schools nationwide have already made the decision that standardized test scores won’t be a requirement for the application process. We, as a world, are at a point where short-term solutions to an indefinite problem are becoming challenging.

There is obviously a lot of uncertainty, a lot of unknowns right now, and it’s so typical of high schoolers to be stressed out about academics in a time like this. Unfortunately, though, we’ve kind of been forced into it. Obviously, we cannot simply wait for the pandemic to be altogether eradicated, because by this point, college applications may already be due. The time constraint that’s been inflicted upon us is stressful to say the least.

In the grand scheme of things, though, it’s more important to be happy with who they are in the moment. That sounds extremely cliche, but it’s the reality of the situation. This is a time in which self care is extremely important, and it’s important to find outlets to keep the stress of the world from becoming overwhelming. This quarantine period grants more freedom of time, an increase in time with loved ones, and other hidden benefits for everyone. I miss everyone in my life greatly during these times, and can’t wait to return to a sense of normalcy!”

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