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Hunting for college and a busy junior year

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Posted: September 10, 2012 - 9:40am

I can’t believe the college search has already begun, and I’m only a junior! My family and I went down to New York to visit my grandmother for a couple of weeks over the summer. While down there, we looked at three of my top choice colleges. 

One college we looked at closes its library early on Saturdays, so students “have to” recreate. On really beautiful days, the dean will sometimes cancel all of the classes for the day and the outing club plans an adventure. Or you can just sleep in. And, wait, it gets better. Classes don’t start before 8 and don’t go after 4, and sports have to be either before or after. So I’d never have to choose between classes or sports.

The second school runs on a quarterly schedule rather than semesterly. This means fewer classes at a time, but more hours per class. The goal is that the classes can get more in-depth and create a better understanding of the topic because the students are immersed in it. Since they’re on a different schedule than other schools, more opportunities open up. For example, I could decide that instead of taking off the summer quarter, I could take off the fall quarter and apply for internships when most people are in school. Or I could take off the winter and focus on my skiing. 

The third school is one of the greenest colleges. Not just foliage, but environmentally. There is a whole housing unit that’s more environmentally friendly for honor students, and many of the other buildings have been built with energy conservation in mind. 

They are the first campus in the U.S. to completely restrict the sale of disposable bottled water. It’s also one of the most bicycle-friendly universities. 

Biggest sell point — there’s gargoyles on one of the buildings! 

Each college emphasizes that students should have fun while in college. But what about beforehand? 

With the competition to get into the good schools, they want their prospective students to work harder and harder. “We won’t allow a student to take more than four classes, so they can have some free time,” says one guide. And just a few minutes later he was telling us that the school looks for high schoolers to take at least five core classes every semester. 

Plus, extracurriculars that show we are leaving a legacy at our high school. Oh, and don’t forget about participating in either varsity sports or band. Wait, and a job so we can actually afford college. 

So in order to get into the good schools, so I can have fun in college, I have to not have fun in high school? 

Regardless, I’m going to do my best this year, what most people say is the hardest year in high school, to do both. Take all the hard classes and have fun. With intense and challenging classes across the board, it will be quite the juggling act.

 I’m taking A.P. Literature and Anatomy & Physiology at Skyview, Calculus and Spanish at KPC, and Government and Current Affairs at home. 

I’m also planning to help at Skyview with our school newspaper (editor?). I’ll swim and ski for Skyview this year along with figure skating, and hopefully teach karate when I can. Plus the weekends with meets and hopefully some social time. Sleep? Who needs that?

 I see lots of careful time management in my future. 

Thankfully, I have a really cute planner so I can write down all my homework due dates and upcoming sporting events.

Wish me (and all the other frazzled juniors) luck!

 

Heather Morton is a junior Skyview High School/Connections Homeschool student.

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