The Wessex Wire

The Student News Site of West Essex Regional High School

The Wessex Wire

The Wessex Wire

NEWS COMMENTARY: Ignoring reputation yields best college decision

Staff photo by Franni Loffredo
As graduation approaches, seniors are unsure where they want to spend their next four years.

College, which was once in the distance, nears closer for upperclassmen. Whether it is university, trade school or a gap year, students are making life-altering decisions despite not knowing what path is best for them. The process is tedious and stressful, but with the right guidance, West Essex students can flourish post-graduation. 

Many students do not know what to look for in a college, and apply to schools based on the reputation that precedes them. The decision to apply to a school should be based on a program or a future of seeing themselves at this college. But most students decide to apply to a school just because they hear their friends are applying or it has a certain reputation. 

“At this point it feels like I’m desperately searching for options rather than finding a school that truly suits me,” senior Maddy Shih said. 

When seniors decide to apply to schools that do not fit their requirements, it could make them equally uninterested in attending that college. The application process is time consuming and expensive, especially when applying to 10-14 schools. So, even after seniors spend a lot of time and money to apply to these schools, they may not be interested in hearing the school’s decision upon acceptance or even attending the schools. 

College decisions are difficult to talk about with your peers, especially those who apply to similar schools. The most commonly asked question after decisions are released is “Did you get in?” And often it can hurt to hear that others got in when you didn’t. This makes it challenging to tell your friends that you got deferred or rejected from one of your top schools. Students need to become self-aware that the post-graduation process is not a competition with others, but instead a personal journey to where you’re meant to be. 

Awaiting decisions is one of the most anxiety-inducing aspects of the college process, but it is not commonly talked about. Many high school students will complete Early Action (EA) applications in hopes of receiving their decisions earlier, but many universities still don’t send their decisions until February. Many colleges that do offer EA defer students instead of giving a true decision. This is a strategy called “yield protection” where they defer many EA applicants to see which students commit, so they know how many Regular Decision applicants they can accept. 

With all this in mind, underclassmen have several things to think about as they begin the college process. 

  1. Narrow down where you want to spend your post-graduation years: whether it be college, trade school, beauty school, the military or something else.
  2. Do research on what you want to do based on your interests, location, cost and other deciding factors.
  3. Know it’s alright if you’re not sure what you want to do, that’s why “Undecided” is a popular major for students.
  4. Consider keeping your decision process a matter between yourself and trusted adults. Don’t let others bring you down after the release of decisions and do what you think is best.
  5. Don’t let the journey overwhelm you. The world won’t end if something doesn’t go your way. It just changes the way you will find success.
Behind the Byline
Francesca Loffredo, Senior Chief News and Features Editor
Francesca Loffredo is a Senior Chief News & Features Editor for the 2022-2023 Wessex Wire. She plays tennis and softball for the West Essex team. Francesca loves hanging out with her friends and family, and spending time at the beach.
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