Most students go through high school with one goal in mind: get into a good college.
While students are focused on getting into college, they create expectations for what their college experience will be like. However, throughout their four years of high school, the hours of homework and extracurricular activities continue to pile up and can ultimately overwhelm students.
At the San Mateo County superintendent debate on April 29, Isabelle Friedman, a sophomore at Terra Nova High School, spoke about the stress high school places on students to attend college.
“The majority of [my] stress is a result of school and the incredible pressures placed on students to get into college,” Friedman said.
On top of the pressure to get good grades, seniors are faced with college admission essays and lengthy applications to fill out. However, their hard work eventually pays off, especially after National Commit Day on May 1.
Carlmont students recently celebrated this day by wearing their soon-to-be college attire to school. Alexis Eliopoulos, who plans on attending California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), joined the many students who represented their colleges.
“I’m trying to not have too many expectations because I just want to experience [college] with nothing to compare, but I’m hoping to meet a lot of of new people and have a ton of new experiences that I wouldn’t be able to have living at home,” Eliopoulos said.
Students in college often post photos on social media about their life at college which can create unrealistic expectations for incoming students.
Freshman at Cal Poly, Adam Melamed, reflects on his prior expectations in comparison to his reality.
“After attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for almost one year now, I would say that I have met the majority of my expectations. I joined Delta Sigma Pi, the business fraternity on campus, attended weekly shabbat dinners and Hillel activities, and I would say I have found friends that I will have for the rest of my life,” Melamed said.
While Melamed exceeded socially, the academic rigor was surprising to him.
Melamed said, “Academically, college is not as easy as some people put it. Yes, you get to choose your schedule and can start at 1 p.m. in the afternoon, but academics take up a majority of your time during the week.”
Although college is a time to focus on academics and finding one’s passions, it is also a time to learn how to make your own choices and be independent.
“My advice to students coming into college is to get involved and don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone,” Melamed said.