Common Application, UC Application, CSU Application, Deadlines, Stress. These are all words that are constantly in the air at The Hall this time of year. The Stuart Hall Seniors are in the middle of the college application process and, as a student in the class of 2016, the atmosphere has definitely shifted among us. Social situations among my friends feel slightly more tense and passive, due to the added stress of the application process and college search. As juniors, college seemed so far off but in the blink of an eye, the 3 years seemed to fly by. In addition to some hard classes this year, seniors have to study for the SAT and/or ACT. Taking tests such as the latter teaches you that you need to throw out everything you’ve ever known about test taking when taking standardized tests. There is much more strategy in standardized tests.
While speaking to a few of my classmates about this topic, I received a plethora of different responses. Reflecting on the SAT experience is Preston Doyle, a happy go lucky fellow: “The SAT is not the bees knees. I have had a heck of a time getting test prep done along with school work and college apps so if I can conjure up any advice I would say to get this process out of the way junior year.” Great advice. Those PSATs may have seemed like a drag, but they were good practice for taking the SAT. Some students choose to do test prep at home; some students enroll in a separate test prep class. Gio Oltranti ‘16 enrolled in Revolution Prep: “I cancelled because I didn’t like the structured schedule so instead I chose to use Khan Academy and bought a test prep book.” In contrast, Christ Suarez ‘16 preps for the SAT with Compass Tutoring: “It’s twice a week for an hour and a half and we take a practice test once a month.” Everybody preps for tests differently, but the SAT and ACT are especially important tests, thus it requires a lot of discipline and focus to prep.
It is important for seniors to give advice about senior year to the underclassmen, as it can only make their lives easier as they transition into their last year at the Hall. I can say from firsthand experience, the want to be done with high school and go to college is definitely there, but it’s imperative that you focus on the present, at least till the application process is over.
We wish the seniors all the best in the application process. If any underclassmen have any questions regarding this process, please don’t be afraid to ask the seniors. Even though they can look intimidating, they will be happy to answer your questions. This is Jackson Rhodes, signing off.