Lost Dreams, Lost future?

A Suggestion to Re-Inform College Prep

Camila Sposito, Staff Writer

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Stress is a feeling every high school student eventually has to go through, especially when they start getting into the process of preparing for college. College preparations are things such as taking standardized tests like the SAT’s, looking for schools to attend, or even trying to figure out what you want in your future and deciding what you want to major in. Normally, schools and teachers provide resources for their students to help prepare themselves for such a huge step in their lives. However, many teens feel that they are not getting the exact help they need, or that nothing can be done to feel prepared for the college process and life.

“I wouldn’t have felt prepared if I weren’t in One goal,” says RHS student, Jonathan Flores Angel. One goal is a college prep program where teachers and students talk about the requirements and guidelines they need for college. They write college essays, check GPA improvements, and build ways to make sure each student feels comfortable. Although this program is helpful, only certain students are able to take the class, meaning not every student will get an opportunity to see their future burning bright. 

Every school should have multiple classes where they not only prepare students for college, but set their expectations for life after college. A survey said that 84 percent of high school students across America wants to go to college, but 68 percent of those students feel unprepared, and each year the number gets higher. Jonathan said that without the program, he wouldn’t have been as prepared as he is now.

ACC (Another Course to College (A high school)) student, Cristian Pleitez, said he doesn’t feel prepared at all, but also doesn’t believe that teachers can do much, but support him. Pleitez has also admitted that being unprepared and feeling naive towards the next step in his life has changed his mind about what he wants to do with his future. “I used to want to go to big schools that were always being mentioned, and I would think applying to scholarships and getting the work done was simple. I went from wanting to work in business in a well known, high standard school, to wanting to work in zoology starting off at a community college”. Students are letting go of dreams and are starting to feel hopeless with the lack of support they are receiving. They are choosing easier paths instead of working for what they really want because they don’t know how to get to the next step. “We need classes on how to pay our taxes, house to buy a house, how to make resumes, save up money, get jobs, etc. Instead, we’re learning unimportant things that won’t matter to us in the future”, Pleitez says. Frustration rises in teens as they share ideas with schools and teachers about what should be taught, but no one listens. Along with feeling unprepared, students are stressed and don’t know how to manage their time.

With all of the high school stress already, social life, and college preparations, teens are feeling confused and lost. “You really have to learn how to manage your time well and try to balance everything out. It’s easier said than done though,” claims Pleitez. While some students believe time management is the key to dealing with stress and focus, others feel the opposite way about that. 

“It certainly helps, but sometimes it could also just add more stress to your life, especially since some people might want to get all of their work done first before taking time for themselves,” Flores Angel says, but also agreeing that, “there needs to be a balance”. Some students are starting to put their work before their own mental health, and schools don’t even realize it. They feel pressured into thinking that getting good grades is their only way to a good future, and no one is telling them otherwise. Others are even giving up on doing their work due to the stress of not being able to balance all of these things at once, and not getting the help they need from teachers.

 “It can get overwhelming, but you can’t do anything about it”, Flores Angel notes. Knowing that teens feel hopeless, and don’t know how to time manage and deal with stress, shows exactly how unprepared they really are, and shows how many schools aren’t giving their students the full support they need”.

Overall, students and teens feel that they aren’t learning the material they should be learning for college life and adult life; they believe there is no solution to the feeling of unpreparedness, while others feel that the only resources they have are programs that not everyone can get into, and without it, they would be nothing.  Schools are not preparing their students well enough for college or even the process of applying to college itself. Students are fearful of where they’ll end up, and numerous of them have questions that aren’t being answered. “How do I pursue this dream? I need an answer”, “Where do I even start”, “I don’t know how I am going to survive in this world if I don’t even know what college I’m gonna go to” and so many more. Counselors are here for a reason; they should ask be able to gather a few students everyday at certain times and check in on them, make them feel confident, and help them build their future. Teachers tell us to ask questions when we need help. One too many questions have been asked about college, and none have been answered. Teachers should start owning their words, supporting their students, and prepare their students for college the way they need to be prepared.