Students start college preparation process

Alexandria Buchanan, editor

As many students are realizing, the four years of high school go by extremely quickly. Before you know it you’ll be graduating and going out to the real world, but before that comes a lot of preparing, especially if you plan to further your education by enrolling in college.

Junior Ngoc Nguyen is planning to get her medical degree and has started preparing to get accepted into the college of her choice by taking practice tests and asking her family for advice. Still, Nguyen still has some worries about her future and where her life is headed after high school.

“I wish I knew exactly what I need for college and what choices I have,” Nguyen said. “I feel students believe they are limited because they can’t pay tuition costs or their grades aren’t there… Students may be too busy to research colleges, or may not know where to start.”

McKinley High School’s college and career counselor Colleen Inaba helps students with their college journey by giving advice and guidance throughout the process. She advises students to start researching colleges, majors, and other related information early so they know what they want in a school, making applying a lot easier when it is time.

“It’s really simple these days [to research colleges]. You can just Google a whole sentence,” Inaba said. “You can get information. Students need to take time to do those kinds of things.”

Junior year is when students start their college preparation, but senior year is when the pressure is on to apply, find scholarships, and finalize everything.

Senior Koolau Anderson is planning to get a degree in a sports major. He suggests keeping a steady schedule and starting early. Anderson has a lot of advice to offer for those who may be lost or confused during the application process.

“Know when your application fees are due, how much the fees are, and have your forms and make sure you have your letters of recommendation as well,” Anderson said. “Make sure you also have a resume as well. It’s good to be prepared.”

For many the planning starts during junior year, however, it is common for the underclassmen to start worrying about what their plans are early on in their high school careers. Many assemblies aimed towards informing students about college are only open to juniors, leaving freshmen and sophomores confused and lost about where to start.

“Don’t wait until the last moment to start,” Anderson said. “Don’t stress. School is tough and it will feel like you have a lot on your plate, but just make a plan and follow it closely and you’ll be fine.”

Most importantly though, upperclassmen urge students to enjoy themselves during high school. It’s hard to make great memories if you spend all of your time worrying.

“My advice to freshmen and sophomores is to have fun,” Nguyen said. “Try out all the sports and clubs you’re interested in. Make connections with your peers, teachers, and staff. Keep your grades up… Push yourself out of your comfort zone and take on new opportunities… You only live once so take a chance and together we can all get this bread.”