Fresno Christian High School
57° Fresno, CA
The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

  • 43rd Annual Commencement Ceremony - May 23, 7 pm, People's Auditorium
  • The Feather honored with Silver CSPA digital news Crown Award
  • Download the new Feather app - search Student News Source in App store
The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

Recent Comments
Letter to the Editor
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

College culture: Eyes on the juniors

In this occasional feature, The Feather staff will discuss college preparation and experiences with Academic Adviser Molly Sargent and special guests. This is the third installment in the series.

For some seniors, the days of studying for the SAT and filling out college applications felt like an eternity. However, as soon as the rush to buy prep books began, the class of 2012 is in the final stages of wrapping up the college search.

Now, attention turns toward the juniors, who may have already taken their first SAT. Whether they realize it or not, it is just about time for the class of 2013 to start checking out College Prowler and slaving over study books.

Before this all begins, though, Academic Adviser Molly Sargent has words of advice and strategies for the next set of college searchers.

Hierholzer: With the seniors finishing up the final details on choosing a college, the next round of students are beginning to think about college. At this point, where should the juniors be, by way of planning for the SAT, visiting colleges, etc.? What sort of time frame do you think is wise?

Sargent: Juniors should have already taken either the SAT, ACT, or both by this time, or have signed up to take either or both by the end of the summer. They should then register to take either or both again, at least once, in the fall. I’m a big believer in physically visiting colleges before making any decision about applying. Every college/university is unique in its own way and are worth spending a few hours at before applications are made considering you may spend four years there!

Hierholzer: Before juniors start their senior year, what recommendations do you have for making their applications the best they can be, by way of classes and extracurriculars, etc.?

Sargent: For students who are academic and are hoping to attend a UC [University of California], private college, or upper echelon school, taking as many AP classes as you can is required. Admittance is so competitive now, that unless a students takes the most academically challenging classes a school has to offer, chances are very slim that they will be admitted. Many of these schools accept fewer than 10 percent of applicants.

Community service of any kind, done over a period of time to show the student’s commitment to the cause/activity is always recommended, both for college and to help shape each student’s commitment to caring for others.

Hierholzer: When it comes to studying for the SAT and ACT, what advice do you have on strategies? Any recommendations on specific study books to buy?

Sargent: Study, study, study! Buy vocabulary flash cards, study books, online courses, anything you can to help prepare you. Both the College Board and ACT websites have free, daily “question of the day” for an easy way to study, and the College Board has an online study course available. Other private companies offer study programs, but they are pricey — some run into the thousands of dollars. As with most things, you get out of it what you put into it.

Hierholzer: It can become very easy for students to beat themselves up about SAT scores, and overwork themselves. On the other hand, they might not take it seriously, and never study. How can students find a healthy balance of good hard work?

Sargent: I tell my students to do the best with the abilities God has blessed you with, the time you have available, and the financial resources at your disposal. Leave the rest to Him. God has promised to guide our lives as we walk in His ways and pray for wisdom and peace.

But we do need to do our part with the tools He has already given us. If a student studies every waking moment, that student is not tending to the other very important parts of life, like caring for others, caring for the body (sleep, proper nutrition, exercise, etc.), and caring for her relationship with Christ. These things are as important, and in the latter item more important, than studying for the SAT.

Hierholzer: College might feel like a long way away to juniors, so preparation could seem unnecessary now. How do you suggest easing into the mindset of getting serious about college?

Sargent: Make the decision you will start taking college seriously. A student’s motivation is so important here. A teacher, parents, others can only urge, cajole, nag [or] threaten so much. I think it’s a good idea to start thinking of college as perhaps the most important choice you will make in your life other than your decision to follow Christ and who you will marry. Yes, it’s that important.

Hierholzer: For those who feel daunted about all of the upcoming work, what words of advice and comfort do you have?

Sargent: Instead of waiting to write all your college essays, fill out all the college apps, and request all your letters of recommendation at once, do a little bit every day to help you not feel overwhelmed at the process. Pray every day that God will give you wisdom and discernment concerning this decision. And don’t be anxious — that’s what faith is for, to determine our destinies when we have no control over the outcomes. Plus, remember that if you go to a college you don’t like, that isn’t working for you, you can always transfer!

Hierholzer: Where can students go for help and advice if they have any questions or concerns? When are you and/or [Assistant Academic Adviser] Michelle Warkentin available?

Sargent: Both of us are happy to help. I am available at lunch and after school. Mrs. Warkentin is at school on Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Make an appointment to see her, and she will call you out of class. She’s great, by the way: knowledgeable, caring, efficient and wise.

For the previous installment of College Culture, read the Jan. 31 article, College culture: A glimpse of Harvard.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Feather

Comments (0)

All The Feather Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *