Looking ahead to college

Matthew Laurence, Staff Writer

Anxiety, confusion, excitement, happiness. All words associated with the migration most seniors will be making this summer.

For years and years students dream of making it to their perfect college, of the adventures they’ll have and the great people they’ll meet. They’ve even thought about how exciting it will be to apply to colleges and how smooth the process will go. Now that the moment’s almost here have these feelings held true?

Guidance counselor Kiely Murray provided some information on how students were feeling about the upcoming transition.

“Every year we do a pre-test, we ask how people are feeling, and it’s always two major themes: excited or anxious,” Murray said.

This is level with what any person would expect to experience in any major life change.

She added that she felt that this year had gone smoothly for the seniors.

“With technology, something about the process changes every year,” she said. “Naviance makes our job a lot easier, but sometimes they’ll change something and we have to figure it out. This year I think it went smooth in general. From the seniors perspective, they’ll think it’s rushed, but I think it’s typical.”

Naviance is a college search and application program provided by the school that most juniors and seniors will use in their college pursuit.

Senior Julia Canestrariwill attend Fairfield University next year and plans on majoring in business administration.

“I’m excited for college. I can’t wait to make new friends and learn new things. I love the campus. It’s pretty,” Canestrari said.

Senior Ryan Branch is less certain about what his future holds.

“I’m excited for college,” Branch said. “Although, I’ll admit I’m a little nervous. I’m not sure where I’m going. I’m waiting to hear back from a couple colleges. I think that’s what’s making me nervous.”

Although Branch is nervous and uncertain, he has big plans for college. He plans on playing a sport and majoring in political science.

Junior Sydney Olson talked about her anticipation for the college process and is currently still working on narrowing down her college of choice.

“I started looking at colleges in the beginning of junior year,” Olson said. “It’s intimidating to start but that hasn’t stopped me from being excited for college.”

After going to the students, it is clear that Murray’s original statements reign true. Anticipation for college is a mix of anxiety and excitement. But are these feelings warranted?

According to the ACT they are. Data from the testing organization shows a third of high school graduates heading to college are not ready for entry-level courses in English, reading, math or science.

Additionally only 26 percent of test takers reached the readiness benchmark for all four subjects and another 27 percent reached readiness in two or three subjects. This is certainly a reason for anxiety to rise in students looking to embark on a college journey.

What’s next for students who are off to college?

Most have already sent in their deposits and for those who have all that’s left to do is simply decide which college is for them. For those who haven’t, well they have some decision making to do but once they make the decision they’ll be right in their with the former.

So how do students feel about going to college next year?

“I can’t wait. Hopkinton has been good, but I can’t wait to see what’s waiting for me next,” Canestrari said,