The Pathway to College

Where am I going? Is this the right choice? What do I earn my degree in? Can be some of the questions that float across senior’s mind.

Ivonee M. Mejia, Writer

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College is a thought that comes through every student’s mind at least once, with a long list of colleges throughout the United States. To those considering college, it can be an overwhelming thought with many questions attached.

 

Where am I going? Is this the right choice? What do I earn my degree in? Can be some of the questions that float across senior’s mind.

 

“I only have my options limited down to a lot of different colleges which I’ll decide after my season is over.” Said senior Ahmad Louis, aspiring to play basketball in college.

 

Out of the 34 Oak Park seniors questioned, only 79.4% of seniors said that they were interested in going to college. The top 3 schools frequently mentioned by seniors is Maple Woods Community College, The University of Missouri, and the University of Kansas.

 

It can be overwhelming to decide where you’re going. Getting spammed by colleges through email or getting multiple letters through the mail. For most students, there are a lot of factors that go into choosing a college.

 

“Cost, and how far away KCAI (Kansas City Art Institute) was a big factor, I was accepted into the art institute in Chicago but I couldn’t go because their tuition was too high and they weren’t giving me a high enough scholarship,” Senior Abby Oyesam said. “The FAFSA didn’t get me that much money to go there, but I got more to stay in here.”

 

For student-athletes there are different factors to choosing a college, for students that want to play sports for universities and earn a sports scholarship, there is a different kind of pressure these students face.

 

“The hardest thing as a student-athlete is to really get noticed, there’s a lot of different student-athletes playing the same sport as you, so just making yourself stand out and giving the coach a reason to want you,” said Louis.

 

Deciding what you want to major in is one of the biggest decisions a student can make- students usually decide the college they want to go in because of the programs the University offers for the major students want to do.

 

“For a while, I knew that I probably wanted to my major in some kind of science, I did switch around my ideas like being a pathologist or being a chemist, but I thought that a medical examiner would be the most interesting occupation,” said senior Tiana Smith.

 

College is a milestone for many students, for many students, it is the first time where they live independently, and it is the first steps to adulthood. Many can be overwhelmed with the sudden change of responsibilities.

 

“Time management is huge. Most of my friends who struggled or failed out were because they were bad at managing and prioritizing their time. There will always be something more exciting to do than go to the library or study for your test. Setting a to-do list and making sure you complete so much each day is important,” OPHS math teacher and University of Missouri graduate Kristin Haberberger said. “I also always made time for professor office hours, especially for classes that would possibly be a struggle. When the professors saw me putting in the extra time and effort into their class I would usually get rewarded in some way (whether it be they excuse me from an assignment, or allow a retake or retry on something I messed up on) just because in a 200+ lecture class, they could still pick me out of a crowd and see that I was truly working and trying to develop my skills in their content.”

 

“I’m very nervous, I don’t want to fail, I think that if I just stay focused then I should be fine,” Oyesam said.

“The hardest thing as a student-athlete is to really get noticed, there’s a lot of different student-athletes playing the same sport as you, so just making yourself stand out and giving the coach a reason to want you,””

— Senior Ahmad Louis

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