The College Struggle

A bulletin in the main hallway of Leesville that shows the percent of students admitted to all the North Carolina schools with a certain GPA. Photo courtesy of Drew Walczyk

Almost every senior in high school had Thursday, March 30 marked on their calendar as the last bit of college acceptance letters poured in. This day provided an array of emotions amongst senior students as their future was bestowed upon them.

“I was out at dinner with my family when I got the email and I almost screamed in the restaurant I was so excited,” said Bri Reid when she found out she was accepted into her dream school, the University of Maryland.

Others were not as thrilled though.

“I was pretty let down when I didn’t get into my top school but it’s fine because I’m still going to a good school with my good friends,” said Carson McNally. He will be attending the University of South Carolina’s School of Engineering next year. McNally although disappointed emphasized how relieved he is to know what school he will be attending next year.

As some received instant gratification and relief as they now know what school they will be attending, others were disappointed to find out that the college struggle wasn’t over after all.

For example, Jack Walton was admitted into Hampden Sydney, South Carolina, and the United States Military Academy. Although he was grateful to have been accepted to these colleges, he couldn’t decide which college he should attend. After a lot of stress Walton decided he would attend the University of South Carolina.

“I realized that I was not looking forward to a life in the military, so that was a big decision that marked out [the United States Military Academy.] I earned my army ROTC scholarship which I realized paid my entire tuition, this narrowed it down to Hampden Sydney and South Carolina. A big factor was sports but I realized that sacrificing the best education I could get for a sport that I would only play for four more years was not worth it,” said Walton.

Picking a college isn’t easy and students have to take into account all aspects of each college in order to pick the college that best suits them academically. However, once students figure out all the logistics (price, size, location, etc.), they are often left with two or three schools that meet all their “college requirements.” So how does one choose the right college?

A lot of students picked a date and decided that they will chose a school and put a deposit down on that day. Others, on the other hand, have desperately put up twitter polls, flipped coins, or even picked a school solely based on a roommate. As a senior myself, I have seen people primary choose a school based on educational opportunity and the social life.

Of course education ranks at the top of the list, but many students have been admitted into several colleges that can all provide them with a fantastic education. Thus students turn to the school’s reputation as people believe that a more reputable school typically can provide a better education. This is often a true assumption but a school’s reputation can be misleading and not have the sufficient programs to provide to every students needs.

The social landscape and environment of a school can also play a huge role for high school students. This could consist of greek life, sporting events, or even which high school friends are also going to attend that school. Students will call their school home for the next 4 years of their life, and some feel a good social environment is a necessity.

Deciding which college a student will attend is a very scary, exciting, and sometimes a stressful process. However students shouldn’t agonize over this because in more cases than not freshman love the college that they chose. So enjoy this process, you will only experience it once.


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