The Bengal Beat

What to Expect When You’re Expecting to Graduate

Graduating+is+an+achievement+that+comes+from+an+abundance+of+work+and+effort%2C+especially+if+the+student+has+worked+for+their+acceptance+into+the+college+and+degree+they+aspire+to+get.+%28Courtesy+of+Pixabay%29.
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What to Expect When You’re Expecting to Graduate

Graduating is an achievement that comes from an abundance of work and effort, especially if the student has worked for their acceptance into the college and degree they aspire to get. (Courtesy of Pixabay).

Graduating is an achievement that comes from an abundance of work and effort, especially if the student has worked for their acceptance into the college and degree they aspire to get. (Courtesy of Pixabay).

Graduating is an achievement that comes from an abundance of work and effort, especially if the student has worked for their acceptance into the college and degree they aspire to get. (Courtesy of Pixabay).

Graduating is an achievement that comes from an abundance of work and effort, especially if the student has worked for their acceptance into the college and degree they aspire to get. (Courtesy of Pixabay).

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In the midst of college acceptance letter season, it comes into focus that rising seniors must prepare themselves for the senior “stress” that is inevitable while also working towards avoiding it.

“I’d say over the summer you should really get your ACT and SAT scores under control, or, at least, have a game plan before going into senior year, because you have a lot going on with Senior Project and college admissions,” says senior Connor Shockling.

Approaching graduation causes many to panic and others to sigh with relief. However, upperclassmen are not fooled into believing that all the work for college admissions is done in one year. There has to be constant motivation from the start of freshman year to the end of junior year to build a decent resume to stand out from the waves of students that are also applying.

“A lot of colleges are looking for people that push themselves. Colleges want people that stand out and bring notoriety to their college, not people who are just getting a degree and living on… Make a difference, show that you make an impact on people and that you like to get involved, because that’s what colleges like to see. You have to have something to talk about besides, ‘I went to school, I went home, played video games, took a nap, and ate Cheetos,’” says English and senior project teacher Jessica Cheek.

It is crucial for underclassmen to contribute to the community and be involved because universities are usually impressed when a student starts a club or organization. They also like to see those who participate in community service and show leadership in whatever they might do. Extracurricular activities are important as well as astounding grades and teacher recommendations.

“I started doing an internship last summer; I was working at my church, as a children’s instructor, and I realized that I really wanted to work with children, so I will definitely be viewing routes that have to do with kids. I am planning on doing a lot of different internships, on top of basketball, which will be very stressful, but it will be okay,” says sophomore Emily Mages.

Planning ahead can benefit a student by keeping up with outside activities, future events, like college fairs, and scholarships. This initiative of keeping a balance in life for a student can be a life saver by the time senior year comes.

“I’m at my third quarter, and I’m ready to graduate, but senior year is low-key stressful. You thought your junior year was bad, but senior year is a lot worse, because, when you have deadlines in school, there are teachers that say, ‘Hey, we have a quiz! Hey, we have a test; make sure you study!’ When it comes to colleges, applications, and scholarships, it’s basically on you to meet deadlines, and you have to do that on top of Senior Project, your core classes, college classes, jobs, and extracurricular activities. So, you really need to know how to balance your time. Also, you should know how much you can handle, work-wise, because, if you’re doing a lot, like I did, and you don’t manage your time well, then you will stress yourself out,” says senior Jocelyn Dobson.

The responsibilities of a high school student can sound overwhelming, but a student needs to, at least, consider their options before throwing themselves at the mercy of relentless nights of worry. Focus on knowing what your college of choice wants to see in your transcript or what Greenville Tech dual credit classes they accept.

“I think that [upcoming juniors] should start taking standardized tests early, like taking the ACT and SAT in the fall, so you will know for spring which one you need to work on and which one you’re strongest in because college applications are going to be in the summer and the beginning of your senior year,” says junior Ashley McCord.

The disappointing realization happens when a student knows that they will struggle and does not even try to obtain help from their teachers. Teachers are more than happy to help with ACT/SAT academic questions, letters of recommendation, and many more concerns of students considering attending college.

“I would say definitely for Senior Project [rising seniors] should be thinking about what they want to do so they have at least a couple of ideas when they come in. With an internship, they should have someone contacted, someone lined up, and they should also have thought about they’re age because we get a lot of people who want to do an internship with health and they’re barred because they’re not 18,” says Cheek.

On the other hand, there are students that may genuinely have no clue on what they aspire to do. This is okay; a student in high school doesn’t necessarily have to know their life plan. There are other ways to begin exploring and eliminating choices for majors and universities, like touring college campuses. These visits will enrich parents and students on what the process for college application is like and how college students live.

“[Rising seniors] should already have their resume pretty much completed or a biosketch of themselves. Reflecting on relationships with teachers [is important], too. A lot of students don’t realize that they’re in this four year experience here and that they are under a microscope. The things you say and the things you do spread like wildfire in a school like this; your reputation and the rapport that you have with everybody matters. However, by the time that they get to junior year, it’s probably too late,” says science teacher Brett Fleming.

There are many organizations that encourage and even demand letters of recommendations to have proof that students can cooperate and respect authority. College life is considered to be even more stressful than the years spent in high school, so any wise words from those who interact with students, that can guarantee their reliability and work ethic, can convince admissions offices to accept or deny them.

“I think one of the hardest things is when people come in and they want recommendations, or they want help, like editing their essay, and their application is due in like a week. It’s really hard for us to help with that when they’re doing it last minute,” says Cheek.

However, the years in high school should not be looked upon as a source of anxiety, but more like an opportunity to become responsible, and even figure out life. Many people meet friends that will last for years. Having a social life is important to be able to minimize stress levels.

“No, I’m not freaking out. I’m just thinking which classes are best for me to take considering what I might want my first years in college to look like, so I’m not overwhelmed with the amount of work that I have. I also started looking at scholarships…and what the qualifications will be before summer comes so it doesn’t end up being too late for me to possibly get those scholarships,” says McCord.

Overall, a student should be looking out for the opportunities that their institution may offer, especially if it can benefit them in the future. Senior Project will prepare students for the rapid nature of college deadlines. This all depends on the student’s willingness to participate and succeed in high school, college, and their career.

“Why are you avoiding academics at a school like this where you can take free college courses for the most part and get some credit before you go to a university? It doesn’t make any sense that anybody would try to take a victory lap; it just doesn’t [because] not a lot of schools offer these opportunities,” says Fleming.

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