Students keep busy with writing college essays



Senior Sasha Borshev works on her Common App college essay early on Friday, Sept. 14 in the Library Media Center.

Krista Rice, Staff Writer

Five weeks into the 2018-2019 school year and students are already preparing for college.

English teacher Alexandra Shaw believes it’s important to prepare students for the real world. Shaw said, “If you are going to college it’s important to be prepared because it’s such a different place as an atmosphere; for 12 or 13 years of your life you follow the same structure. Every single year it’s the same; there are people to hold your hand and people to tell you how to do your work and when you go to college that just flips.”

Senior Anna Arunski is planning on going to Marietta college and agrees with Shaw. Arunski said, “I want my teachers to be real with me – give life advice, be harder on me academic-wise and prepare us the best they can for a college setting.”

English teacher Kari Beery teaches Creative Writing courses and likes to give advice to her senior students. She said, “Take risks, be who you are, make choices because you want them, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, be kind to yourself, be patient because sometimes your pace is different than others but if you’re true to yourself then only good things can happen; sometimes that’s hard when you’re young because you don’t know yourself yet, but if you always have that whisper that it’s going to be okay and that everything can be a teachable moment. Look at life as a teachable moment because you will find joy in that and you will learn from yourself, your world and others and that’s a true gift.”

Senior Shéa Page is currently writing her college essay in Beery’s Creative Writing course that she has decided to take for a second year. She said, “ I was absent for a week and was very behind in all of my classes so I started writing my college essay over the weekend for my creative writing class. Writing the college essay is stressful; it’s kinda terrifying to acknowledge that I’m preparing for real life college.”

When it comes to getting prepared for college and writing college essays, guidance counselor Rachel McBride believes that starting early is the key to success. She said, “I would say to start preparing at least in junior year. I think the english teachers this year are actually doing that because I think going into senior year having something to work with already takes that stress away a little bit. It’s never too early, any of the papers that you’ve written throughout your english classes, some of them can still apply or be revised so it’s never too early.”

This year in her creative writing class, Beery is offering students the option to write their college essays. Beery said, “[The college essay] is something they have to process, process and process and then hopefully it’s something that really represents them and then they feel comfortable sending it off. This is a big rite of passage for students so hopefully this class can provide some assistance in that.”

While having class time to work on college essays, according to Arunski, students have to prepare themselves in other aspects. She said, “I’m working on my time management skills; I’m trying to be more organized with my assignments and thinking about things in the future so I can work on them.”

According to Shaw, graduating high school isn’t just about college; it also has to do with becoming an adult and growing up. She said, “The first thing you have to know is that you have to abandon that idea that you have to do everything perfectly when you’re first trying something. There are so many things that you’re not going to know how to do and even though that’s stressful and even though you’ll feel like you’re being in over your head constantly with responsibilities and things that you have to know. Use the resources you can pull from yourself, the people that you can ask, be willing to ask for help.”

Page wants her teachers to be ready for questions while she tries to figure things out on her own. She said, “I want availability for when I’m confused and I do need my hand held. The biggest thing I need from my teachers is their time and effort so that I can be ready to ask questions.”

Becoming an adult and going to college isn’t easy for most kids, but according to Beery, it is important to take things such as college essays very seriously. Beery said, “Trusting your voice, being authentic and communicating it to a real audience -it’s the trifecta. You get the chance to showcase yourself in a personal way, which sometimes can be very intimidating but it reminds you that when you do take that risk, the reward will be great.”

If students are having a tough time preparing for college, McBride said, “I would recommend starting by coming up here to the guidance office. We have the college planning night, we have college corner, but start here in the guidance office and then we can point you in the right direction. Your teachers, they can help you and we have a guy who comes in every Tuesday for financial aid.”