Why Students Are Nervous About the College Path

Students are stressed about the college process.

About two-thirds of students across all grades at SHA report that they feel nervous and lack confidence about attending college.

Sixty-five percent of students feel unsure or nervous about attending college, according to a school-wide poll held on Dec. 8.

Students report that the school could teach them more about the application process as well as introduce them to different careers. Freshman and sophomore students should also be exposed to different opportunities now, students said, so they feel confident in attending college and the career path they want to choose later on.

“I believe they should introduce us to a variety of careers and majors as sophomores so we’ll have time to think about what we want to do when we’re older,” said Khimorah Arias, a sophomore. “Then, by the time we are juniors, we can start preparing for the colleges we want to attend.”

I feel super anxious about college and like I’m already behind in the whole college process, even though I’m only a junior.

— Shirley Costantino, Junior at SHA

Freshman and sophomore students feel as if the school doesn’t teach them enough about different majors that could lead to specific careers. Sophomores and freshmen report they aren’t being pushed towards the college path, as these programs and college field trips are for seniors and juniors only.

Perhaps the most concerning thing from the survey was that juniors and seniors remain nervous about attending college. Seniors and juniors have a limited time before they graduate and embark on their college or career journey.

According to our survey, 57 percent of seniors and juniors feel unsure or nervous about college. These students might be unprepared for college if they lack confidence. Other students believe SHA should push them to partake in more college-rounded activities and opportunities. If students are more aware of what college life is like, they may be less nervous about attending college and pursuing their careers.

“I feel super anxious about college,” said Shirley Constantino, a junior. “And like I’m already behind in the whole college process, even though I’m only a junior.”

Students have said SHA could offer more knowledge and maybe even other programs about the different options after high school.

Some students don’t plan on going to college 100 percent, so having that other option can show them different perspectives. Informing students about the different options after high school makes the process less stressful for students, as well as exposing them to new ideas and career paths.

“SHA could expand on the types of school that they show students. When I was a sophomore I didn’t even think about trade school until I had a conversation with a welder,” said Hollis Mendez, a senior. “It would be helpful to learn of the many forms of education after high school.”

Despite most students feeling unsure or doubtful about college, SHA still strives to get students feeling confident about the college path. Principal Grace Howard-Donlin aims to improve the confidence level of attending college in students.

“We need to invite graduates back and run panels so students are hearing from other students about how powerful the college experience is,” HD said.

At SHA, most students who learn about college and the process in high school are either juniors or seniors. Freshmen and sophomores aren’t taught about college processes or different career paths they could take.

Some freshmen may come in with a “this year doesn’t really count” mindset, but everything matters.

“I think our school really emphasizes the importance or option of college but I feel like they could maybe do a better job at showing more of these resources to the freshman,” said Laiyla Arroyo, a freshman.