A Boy, A Girl, College

By Isabella Fiorita

It may seem like the most overrated topic to write about, but right now it is the “main act.” College. Yep, I said it. All sarcasm aside, it’s interesting to reflect on the college process during what I would consider to be the midway point. Early applicScreen Shot 2015-02-11 at 8.21.45 PMations are in, no news just yet, and the common app website can now take a backseat on my most visited sites tab. At least for a little while.

All in all, the college process thus far was definitely not what I expected it to be. I imagined a cutthroat and competitive process – Mean Girls style. But now I see that that is definitely not the case. Instead, I would say that right now the most stressful aspect of applying to college is realizing that at a certain point you no longer have control.

Yes, you can ace the tests, write the perfect essays, sign up for the extracurriculars, but the moment you press send, it is out of your hands.

I was surprised to see how open my classmates were about their individual processes when engaged in a conversation. At the beginning of every conversation about college, each person tests the waters to see how open the other individual is. Once it is recognized that both parties are willing to engage further in the conversation, there is a sigh of relief.

In the beginning of the year, no one would dare bring it up, because no one knew how other people felt about talking about their process. But, for the few risk takers, talking paid off. As the school year progressed, our grade increasingly became more open about their individual processes. Now, most girls willingly engage in conversations about their worries and questions about their applications and specific schools.

Although an individual’s college process might just be one of the most taboo topics for GA girls, I have noticed that talking about college emphasizes the grade’s sense of unity. All eighty six of us are going through the same things: huge workload, huge changes, and moving on. As we discuss our plans for the future, it starts to truly hit home that this actually is our last year with each other.

When I do find myself in conversations about college with classmates, the conversation comes from a place of mutual support, respect, and hopefulness for each other, instead of competition. As the first quarter ends, the peer program hits its halfway point, and we begin to write our senior pages, talking about college is a way to talk about the future with friends and classmates.

Every year the rising seniors wish their fellow rising juniors the best of luck on the tough year ahead, but I think that “senior fall” is definitely underestimated. Going into senior year everyone’s focus seems to be the red polos, parking spots on rotation, and– obviously– the college process. And by the time the graduating class is fully enjoying the mythical senior spring, it seems like the “beware of senior fall” message gets lost in the excitement for graduation and the drama that surrounds prom.

But I can tell you that the week before the deadline constituted the hardest seven days I have been through. While the senior-to-senior dynamic is not tense this fall, the workload has been insanely difficult.

I don’t think the rest of the GA community realizes it– I sure didn’t, even last year as a junior; the breakdowns are behind closed doors, the long nights studying for a Chinese test are spent in bedrooms, and no one knows what number coffee you’re on. No one wants to show weakness.

While the college process is most definitely not over yet, I have had the opportunity to take several deep breaths and relax; I know it will all be over soon enough

By Peter Ciporin

College. The word evokes hope and excitement in high-school students around the country regardless of age or gender. Yet the process that every student must undertake before reaching the light at the end of the tunnel induces quite contrary emotions.

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 8.21.16 PMSenior boys and girls alike certainly all experience some degree of misery as they work toward receiving that legendary acceptance letter.  I have yet to encounter a classmate who has not been overwhelmed at one point or another by the amount of work with which we seniors have been swamped this fall.  Still, at Brunswick, I admittedly expected an atmosphere of greater intensity and competitiveness than that which I experienced over these past few months.

From 9th grade until this past summer, I had tried to avoid the taboo subject of college at all costs, whether with parents, teachers, or classmates.  I know any current senior at Brunswick or Greenwich Academy can attest to the cringe-inducing quality of being asked for the umpteenth time where he or she is looking at schools.

However, this fall I noticed an air of surprising openness among my male peers. In general, nobody bats an eye when inquired about the school to which he is applying; most Brunswick seniors will gladly share this information with their classmates.

I was initially shocked to find many of my friends openly sharing details about their application process, something I had always imagined to be intensely private and competitive. I must admit, however, that I am delighted this was not the case. The college process is only as intense as one makes it out to be.

Since Brunswick students tend to share their choices with one another, it has kept the entire process from becoming excessively cutthroat and has made senior year much more pleasant as a result. When decisions file in this winter and again in the spring, I am sure we will follow the precedent we have set by being open about our successes and failures.

Thus, students will be spared from the uneasiness or embarrassment that accompanies having this information exposed by other parties. Instead, we will all be there to congratulate our peers in their triumphs and support them in their setbacks, regardless of the verdicts we receive ourselves.

This openness at Brunswick certainly does not entirely eliminate stress from the college process, nor does it completely eradicate the competitive attitudes that can inevitably be found among male and female students alike. I cannot truthfully assert that the process has been enjoyable these past few months.

But for all seniors at Brunswick, Greenwich Academy, and schools around the nation, regardless of how they have tackled the college process, their years of hard and diligent work will soon have all been worth it.