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College Corner: Responsibility begins early

[/media-credit] Michelle Warkentin explains to students that responsibility for college begins early and with proper initiative.

Two weeks ago I spoke to the senior class of 2015 during their advisory period. As I passed around a paper titled Senior Checklist, the looks I observed on their faces were comical.

The overachievers appeared pleasantly surprised that I had essentially mapped out the next nine months for them and they scanned quickly through the list, checking off items in their head.

Then, there were the students who avoided all eye contact with the paper for fear that starting to read would be the beginning of a painstaking process of uncharted territory: college applications.

The third group of students was easy to identify because they were the ones who slouched a little lower in the chairs at the simple mention of the word “college”, they glanced at the clock to see how many minutes of college talk they would have to endure, because in their minds, “they are not college material”.

This is not a scenario unique to FC, it is happening in schools all across the nation. Seniors are starting to chart out their path for life after high school and inevitably they fall into one of these three categories.

There is a common misunderstanding about school counselors, it is the assumption that we believe anything less than Harvard, Oxford, or Yale is less than the best. However, this could not be further from the truth.

Every student is uniquely different and has amazing gifts and talents that should be devoted toward their passions and interests, in whatever avenue that may be. I will fight just as hard to help a student get into culinary school as I will for one pursuing a P.h.D in Neuroscience from Stanford.

No matter what path you decide to take, make sure you are prepared. I do not simply mean prepared in the physical sense of the word, but in all aspects. Seniors, this year is a crucial time in shaping your world view and personal identity. Make the most of every opportunity you have in your final year of high school. From leading your team on the sports field to putting in volunteer hours for your on-campus club, make an impact wherever you are at.

Keep in mind that colleges, honors programs, tech schools (and the list goes on) are looking for someone who can change the culture of their surroundings and has a passion for what they do.

The best advice I can give for starting out this year is start strong, complete the tasks on this checklist by all means. But more importantly, be intentional about the interactions you have and the things you do because you never know where they will take you. Best wishes to the Class of 2015, I am excited to help you on this riveting journey!

Seniors have already received a senior checklist for the year along with upcoming SAT and ACT test dates.

In other news, I recommend juniors and seniors attend the annual Fresno Area College Night , Sept. 10 from 6-9 p.m. at the New Convention Center Exhibit Hall in downtown Fresno. There will be representatives from over 100 vocational colleges, CSU campuses, community colleges, UCs, and private universities. All high school students can attend this event. The event is annually sponsored by the Fresno County Office of Education and PG&E.

I also would also recommend, students take advantage of the Annual FCS College Fair on Sept. 23 on the campus quad, 12:35-1:15 p.m. This is mandatory for all students grades 9-12. Students will have the opportunity to talk to college representatives from various private and public colleges and tech schools.

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For more on College Corner, check out College Corner: More bang for your buck
or read the March 26 article, College Corner: Careers of the future.

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