Are high schoolers ready to make the college choice?

By, Jazmine Salach 

Education has become one of the most important aspects of life today for my generation. Good grades, extra-curricular activities and community service, as well as various skills have a huge impact on an employer’s decision when choosing employees. The first step to obtaining these qualities is choosing the right college.

This is a step that I believe is overlooked by many high schools and students as well. Some students cram applications in during the final weeks before deadlines, other students may be frantically searching simply for which college to send applications. Students choose colleges without understanding the institution’s strengths and weaknesses and change majors once, twice, even three times.
I know that some high schools require monthly meetings with guidance counselors, but in my opinion (and this was true of my high school) the guidance counselors offer hardly any insight and the meetings are not strictly enforced. The career tests that high school guidance counselors administer are not helpful, and if I would have listened to mine, I probably wouldn’t have even gone to college.
Here’s what I propose: high schools should have, during sophomore, junior and senior years of high school, college preparation courses so that students have a higher chance of attending the proper college and receiving an education that is ideal and relevant. These courses should start with the basics to narrow down first location of the college and size. These two factors, as I’ve seen by being an aid in the orientation of first-year students, are critical in how a student assesses his or her first year of college. Once this has been determined by the student, slowly the class can narrow down the college choices.
Students should also assess the type of school, what classes are offered to aid in majors and minors that interest the students, types of extra-curricular activities, community service projects, student-professor relationships, internship possibilities and other prospects that may be of importance to each student.
This process of choosing a university will also give students an opportunity to explore a field of study. When choosing a major, students do not realize that for certain careers, graduate school is necessary after undergraduate. Students also do not understand that there are many different options for broad majors, such as different branches and opportunities in business, communications or science. These college preparation classes will allow students to view different classes that colleges offer and show students different career choices.
The classes will have the flexibility for high school students to be more certain of major choices and create a plan for the long-term rather than scramble the last year of college for deciding whether graduate school is a valuable option or not. It is crucial to help students choose the right college and proper major(s) in order for students to not waste time and to save money. Due to the increase in the importance of education, I believe that high schools not offering these classes is hindering upcoming generations, and should be considered for future high schoolers.

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