Senior year is a uniquely difficult time for students. The stressors of daily academic life are now coupled with the decision of how and where they are going to be spending the next 4 years of their life. Acknowledging this, RHS administration added “Senior Focus” to alleviate some of the stress of the college application portion of seniors’ lives. It is meant to detail how to write an effective college essay and go over some of the finishing sections of the Common App. However, have they truly done what they set out to achieve? Do students really see this additional class to their course load as beneficial or does it add to the stress they’re experiencing?
After interviewing a number of students the responses were relatively similar. They all agreed that the information itself was useful. Jayden Casey, a senior at RHS, said specifically, “I never would have known how to submit the official requests for transcripts and stuff on Naviance so in that regard it helped.” Another student interviewed said that having a google classroom dedicated to helping college essays was beneficial as it provided one place that they could look for reliable helpful sources. The breakdown of what was aiding the writing of the essays and the steps it would take to get the official request for recommendations helped them manage the tasks.
Despite the general consensus being that the content of the class was beneficial, those interviewed expressed that it could have been shortened to one class period. One student thought that the Senior Focus should be with your own guidance counselor as they were going to be the one to send documents such as a recommendation and your transcripts. Having the person that you are going to be relying on for these things walking you through the process would have been much more convenient. Even then they also thought that each counselor should take one full 80 minute period and finish all the content then. Senior Rebecca Yurgelonis even offered the idea that, “The information should be put in a slideshow presentation and sent home to the students and parents instead of trying to fill 3 class periods.” The only problem with this method may be the important content getting lost in mass amounts of emails or families simply failing to look at it before it is too late.
Though students may groan about having their free period be taken away once a rotation they all seemed to agree that what was being taught was useful. There were differing opinions about how this should be taught though. Now it is in the hands of the administration to decide if the way things are already laid out is the way they intend to keep it, or if they are going to make it a more concise class.
Graphic: Sunny Rhew