Third Quarter Blog Post- The Pressure of College and the Future



     I honestly hear one of the following at least twice a week. It’s getting ridiculous. It’s either:

1)      “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Or it’s

2)      “What colleges do you want to go to?”

     After I give my typical answers (“I don’t know” and “I’m not going to college”) my dad will ignore my stubbornness and go “Okay, at least tell me what’s your favorite subject?” At this point I’m either in denial about my future, annoyed with the questions, or a little of both, because even then I usually repeat, “I don’t know.”

     As my history teacher reminds us almost every day, we are the most tested generation. From when we are young, we are told to work hard, so we can move on to college one day. By 5th grade, we’re already split up into different groups based on our test scores. High school is when the pressure really starts as we pile on the honors classes and extra-curricular activities to have an edge when we apply to colleges. I think most of us can agree that getting those college letters felt good, because it reminded us the hard work will pay off.

     I found scheduling next year’s courses to be stressful, and I know I’m not the only one. We barely had gotten halfway through this year, and then we were forced to think about next year. Junior year is the most dreaded year of high school. We’re constantly hearing from upperclassmen about the stress of the ACTs, AP classes, and overall just a hectic school year.  The week before scheduling, everyone thought hard about what will look good for colleges, what they want to take, what they need to take, and just about how many honors and AP classes can they handle. Throughout the school, you heard everyone asking each other, “What classes are you taking next year?”

     I can honestly say that I have no idea what I want to be or what type of colleges I want to go to. I’ve told people that I’ll probably end up applying exactly where my siblings did, because I have no idea. I probably should face the facts and start thinking more about this, because as I’m reminded almost daily, the future is coming up and it’s important.


    What do you guys think? How have you felt the pressure to plan your future? Also, do you think some of the pressure we feel in our classes we put on ourselves?

Views: 193

Comment by Patrick Haugh on March 20, 2012 at 8:32pm

My first reaction is, why not go to college. I think everyone should at least go to Community, but everyone should strive for four years. As a future educator, I place a lot of stock on, obviously, my education. It's okay if you don't know what you want to do when you grow up, that's natural. But to not try because of that, in my opinion, is just wasting potential.

Comment by Rachel Lee on March 20, 2012 at 8:33pm

Wow your blog is really interesting. This is definitely one of my biggest concerns and probably everyones. I feel like since its latter half of the  sophomore year, we start worrying about junior year(all those APs and ACT) and start thinking very serious about college almost to the point where we choose classes for college. I think it is good that we care about our future and start planning college and stuff but we shouldn't be overstressed and we should focus on discovering what we like to do and our interests in highschool. Good job on your blog!

Comment by Ali Murauskis on March 20, 2012 at 8:37pm

I feel the same way! Although people do not mean to be rude, everyone wants to know how many AP/honors classes you are taking so they can compare themselves to you. It's absolutely ridiculous. You should not be judged merely on what clsses you are taking but also on your character and your extra curriculars. This blog really opened my eyes to a lot of things.

Comment by Amy Maniola on March 20, 2012 at 8:55pm

I absolutely hate it when someone asks me one of those two dreaded questions, and I usually end up answering the same way you do.  Being flooded with college mail this year has been really overwhelming, but I've definitely been much more aware of college because of it. The constant pressures we face to plan our future instantly are really getting to me, but I think I put some of it on myself. I can be kind of a perfectionist sometimes, and I push myself to do well in my classes so I can one day get into a decent college (even though I have no idea which one or for what major). I can definitely say I envy the few of us that know their dream colleges and careers already!

Comment by Claire Magnani on March 20, 2012 at 8:58pm

Great blog Laura! I can definitely relate to this. I always feel extremely pressured to be perfect, because nearly everything you do and how well you do it is seen by the colleges you apply to. So I always have to remind myself that I am working hard because my achievements in high school will determine my college pursuits and the rest of my life. As for my future, I know exactly which direction I want to go, but when it comes to the college I want to go to, I have no idea. But I think in the next year or so, our futures will definitely start to become more clear.

Comment by blythe baird on March 20, 2012 at 9:03pm

I completely understand and agree with your point of view, most students don't know what they want for dinner, much less what they want to do for the rest of their life. However, some of us (including me) have had their heart set on a career since childhood and select classes to take the best possible path to get there. For example, since I was in elementary school I knew I wanted to help people. In junior high I narrowed that down to wanting to be a therapist at a rehabilitation facility, and so in high school I select courses that would help me prepare for that job. I took speech class, womens studies, multicultural perspectives, and am lined up to take AP psych next year. It helps a lot in high school to have a goal that I'm looking forward to- it sometimes makes the monotony of high school more bearable knowing it's all part of the plan!

Comment by Jessica Islas-Parker on March 20, 2012 at 9:12pm

I honsetly have no idea what I want to do. I guess the pressure is always put on by me and no one else. Because I want to work hard so I can get what I think I deserve. I don't have any siblings to be a role model for me. I'm on my own in this and I'm nervous and scared. Picking classes was hard because I was like "another AP class, can't drop my language, need this one, no lunch? okay" to say the least it was stressful. Im glad you're voicing your opinions so that the rest of us that are confused can relax that at least one other person feels the same way. You're blog was really well worded and enjoyable to read.

Comment by Michael Palacios on March 20, 2012 at 9:18pm

I, too, find some issues with the questions. I have an advantage, though. Personally, I've somewhat decided what I'm going to be when I grow up, so I shoot through that question. The problem is with the college question, since I haven't quite decided. So, I usually just stutter through until they leave.

Comment by Jacquelyn Watson on March 20, 2012 at 9:42pm

Thank goodness I'm not the only one who, when those questions are asked, gets a little bit irritable and confused.  I usually end up just responding with the truth.  Which is that I have absolutely no idea.  It gets really stressful at times because since I don't know what I want to do with my life I can't narrow down the classes I'm going to take because I don't know which ones will be most helpful.  This usually ends with me taking everything and then being super stressed and having no free time or time to sleep.  I think it's ridiculous that this is what we expect of ourselves and what other people expect of us.  The ideal student that it seems like many teachers and colleges are looking for doesn't even seem possible anymore without giving up your social life, free time, and any sleep you were going to get for the next for years.  It's so stressful but it's nice to see that other people are just as confused as I am.  I was starting to think I was the only one.

Comment by Jaye Sutherland on March 20, 2012 at 9:43pm

I've always been really excited to go to college, but now I'm just so stressed about it. Not only is it hard academic wise, but just the thought of leaving my friends and family in just two years scares me to death. Oh, and don't even get me started on the ACT's! Thinking about how that one test score can have such an impact on you is so nerve wreaking.


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