High school seniors across America will have to decide where they will attend college by May 1st, College Decision Day, and though many are excited, others find this process to be one of worry and stress.
Many students are now beginning to decide where they will continue their education. However, some students have known their whole life, like Nicole Riper. She will begin her higher education career at The Pennsylvania State University next year.
Riper, grew up visiting the university, often to watch football games. It is this community togetherness that drew Nicole most to the school, “I love the excitement that surrounds the games, everyone really comes together and has fun. The school is also very well ranked and has great programs. I’m not sure what I want to major in, but I am interested in Marketing and they have a great business school!”
However, others are still very undecided, like Sam MacDonald, who has applied to many universities and has been accepted to some places she really loves but is as of now unsure, “I feel like most of my options are very similar and at this point in the process, I feel the same way about all of them.”
MacDonald has narrowed down her options to Villanova University, The Pennsylvania State University, and St. Joseph’s University. She plans on studying nursing and said that her parents would like her to go to either Villanova University or The Pennsylvania State University.
What might be even more difficult than deciding where to go, is deciding who to go with. The roommate search has become a sort of pseudo online dating, where high school seniors post ten pictures and a generic blurb about them and match up based on a similar number of likes on their posts. Students then begin messaging each other, asking questions about majors and rushing. This system edges out the idea of “going random” by systematically making it “weird” because not as many people choose this route.
On this Riper said, “I was really into the idea of meeting a new person, but it’s hard you don’t really know them even after you meet them.” Luckily for her and many others, this is not the only option.
Other students room with a friend who is attending the same university. This is a more familiar option that does not require a series of messages. Riper decided to do this and says “Knowing my roommate has really made me more relaxed about the entire process, I feel more comfortable which makes me feel more confident.”
However, high school seniors are not the only ones going through this process, their parents are too. In fact, the process results in much stress on the parents, including deadlines, cost, and their children leaving homes. This year was Maryanne Bourque’s third time going through this process, she says, “It has gotten a little easier, but every kid was different. The best thing you can do is stay supportive.” She feels like she better understands what kids really need in the college selection process, even quipping, “I have all the coupons saved from Bed Bath and Beyond”.
Decision Day is May 1st, so time will tell where seniors will go, but one thing is for sure, it is a big choice and a worry for many, this is evidenced by the constant chatter of all things college among seniors.
By Lizzie Bourque