I am currently almost halfway done with my junior year of high school, and the only thing I know about college is that it’s important, and if you don’t go, you’re hopeless.
I can tell you what an oblique asymptote is, I know how to write sentences with parallelism as a rhetorical device, and I can tell you how nuclear fission and fusion occurs – but I can’t tell you for squat how to get into college. Sure, I know it has something to do with good grades and high SAT scores, but the actual process of applying, paying, and finding a college that suits you is far beyond my current capabilities as an 11th grader. And, that’s somehow OK with the people who are supposed to be the most invested in my future – the teachers that want me to flourish the most, the principal who believes in me so much, my counselor who wants nothing but the best for me, but I don’t get it.
I know next to nothing about the application process for colleges, finding an apartment or dorm, what and how taxes work, getting a job, zilch. But somehow, I, once I enter 12th grade, am supposed to miraculously learn through my half-semester of a ‘college prep course’, how to survive in the outside world. After I graduate, I’m supposed to choose where I will live for the next 4+ years of my life, decide who I want to marry, pursue my passions – make my own decisions on these huge, life changing things, when a week ago, I had to raise my hand to go to the bathroom, and had my classes assigned to me with little discussion on the matter.
When you look at it that way, nothing makes sense. Teens aren’t gonna be able to figure things out once they are released into the ‘real world’, at least not without some serious changes to the school system. College applications won’t be anywhere near as good as they could be when we are learning how to do them at the same time that they are supposed to be submitted.
High school students don’t need to be learning about the 16th Amendment, they need to be figuring out their future.