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Opinion: College Stress Reality Check

Eniyah Matthews, Staff Writer

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As juniors reach their final year of high school,  many start to become frantic as they begin to worry about what they are going to do with their lives once they graduate. Many, unfortunately, wait until the last minute to figure out what they want to do or to start focusing academically. With exams such as Regents, PSATs, SATs, and ACTs, this information isn’t just going to come to you overnight, but there are many colleges that are starting to become test optional. According to the Washington Post, there are about 800 colleges and universities in the United States that do not require test scores for you to be accepted.

However, college isn’t for everybody. You shouldn’t force yourself to start considering colleges because your friends are or because your family wants you to. If you apply to college without exactly being 100% dedicated to it, you are only setting yourself up for failure.

After all, student loans don’t get paid off just because you changed your mind at the last second. So if you’re not ready or you feel as if it’s not the right fit for you, don’t go. Don’t let other people’s emotions influence your decision, as they are not the ones going to college, attending the classes and doing the projects and tests for you. There are many options besides college, such as trade school or getting a full-time job after high school graduation.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you don’t need to know what you want to major and/or minor in by the time you’re a junior or a senior. It’s good to have an idea in mind so you can go into college with some sort of clarity of where you want to go, but your ideas can even change over time. The reality is, you don’t need to really know what you want to major in until your sophomore year of college. This is because in your sophomore year of college, you are supposed to start taking courses that prepare you and give you information about the major that you’re interested in. So, if you’re undecided, you have junior and senior year of high school and freshman year of college to start finding things that may catch your eye.

That being said, you shouldn’t just pick a major because you think it could be cool or fun to take. You should invest in something that you are capable of, as many majors in college lead to a final exams or projects and if you are not knowledgeable enough of the topic, you are once again only setting yourself up for failure. For example, I think that archeology could be an amazing major to go into. However, I am not the best history student and I am not exactly strong in analyzing studies, so I would most likely struggle a lot throughout those courses in college, or a land a job that I’d probably grow to hate over time. If you get a job that relates to what you majored in at college, it should be because you have a fondness of the subject and are capable of doing your best at all times, not because you need money or didn’t have any other choice.

This is why I have a high appreciation level of Albany High. Regardless of the drama that surrounds the school, Albany High offers a lot of classes that could lead a student towards considering what they want to do for the rest of their lives. These are opportunities that not many people are allowed to receive in other high schools in the area. But, always remember, if you really feel as if college is the route you want to go down, do not stress yourself out about it too much. If it is meant to be, it will all work out in the end.

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