Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans

The “College Talk”

Posted 10/07/2022 by Alexa Tsvetkov

A TJ student lounging in the Future Center after receiving help. photo by Alexa Tsvetkov

TJ students start to prepare for the next step of their lives.

As high schoolers, one of the most critical times in a student’s life is quickly approaching. Applying for college nowadays can feel stressful, unorganized, and confusing. This process is done by millions of students every year, yet many students feel an overwhelming sense of uncertainty when approached with the question of college or the future. Regardless of how prepared students feel for college, there will always be a lingering feeling of doubt when applying for college or figuring out future steps.

Applying for college can be seen as this “impending doom” for so many high school students, but it doesn’t have to be. While the process for applying is taxing in regards to time and motivation, the Future Center can be a helpful resource that is offered at TJ. Emily Webster, college adviser at the TJ Future Center, can serve as your greatest accomplice when navigating the college application process.

As nerve-racking as this time can be, Webster advises that students should “Go with what is a good fit for you because ultimately you’re the one going to college, it’s your experience and taking ownership of that and making a choice that’s right for you will give you the most success.” Friends or other important people in students’ lives can sway them into other pursuits. Despite anyone else’s opinions, choosing the right school at the end of the day is up to each individual student. 

One concern that many students, especially seniors, feel,  is that they are expected to attend a four year college or even just go to college at all, this couldn’t be less true. Each student has a path of their own, a future that feels the most compelling and exciting. Even if college isn’t what some see in their future, being aware of possible college options helps to sort out what future is most fitting.

Staying on top of deadlines and putting time aside will be fundamental to the process of applying to colleges. Webster urges each senior to keep up and look out for deadlines. Everything will be much more stressful if students wait to complete college applications until the last minute. It’s important to be open to anything and analyze all the options before deciding.

Applying for colleges can be scary – especially the process of applying for scholarships and finding the right ones – but students shouldn’t get discouraged. By consistently keeping an eye on the Future Center scholarship resources, students will have the best chance at earning money to help pay for college. Concerned seniors should reach out to Webster and other trusted individuals around the school; teachers and faculty are always more than willing to help. Webster advises to “Just enjoy the journey, even though things can feel really high stakes…”