Entering Ridgewood High School, Freshman FOCUS helps new students get acclimated to the environment comprised of advanced classes, an open campus, and intersections that never fail to slow one’s step. This class can be controversial, as taking away a free period from students isn’t exactly appealing. However, it is generally looked at as a necessary step to succeed in high school. But what about a class that did the opposite? One that helped you fill out your applications to your next endeavor: college. This, bringing on the same controversy, is Senior Focus.
In short, Senior Focus is a class that guides seniors through the ever so complicated college process. From submitting transcripts and teacher recommendations to the learning of scholarship opportunities offered to Ridgewood Students, this class strives to guide the way for those hoping to show their best selves through their applications. In theory, this is a vital class that should be continued for years to come, especially with the growing importance of further education in the job market and constant competition for spots at high-level colleges. In practice, this may be a different story.
As said before, having one less free in your schedule doesn’t exactly appeal to many students, especially those set to graduate in eight short months. However, some see this class as just another step in the process. P.J. McKenna says, “I’d rather have a free, but it’s helpful to have some guidance when applying.” Gabe Santiago explains, “as the oldest of my family, it has been extremely helpful to have guidance counselors guide me as this process is new to my entire family.”
Despite this, others express the opposite. Many of the students opposed to the new class have completed their college applications already, with only a few minor steps to finish. Another student claimed, “I’m done with all my applications, I don’t see the point of Senior Focus. I think it should be completely optional.” This, of course, is the main argument against the class. With an immense amount of writing to do for each application, many elect to complete the process over the summer, before it has to then be balanced with work for classes and sports. Students who haven’t completed their application express a similar opinion. “I think it should be optional as seniors should be able to utilize this free to work on their supplements.”
With many valid points being thrown in support and opposition of Senior Focus, the reality is, this class will stand as long as colleges require specific forms from high schools. Students can complete their supplemental essays over the summer, but forms such as transcripts and teacher recommendations need to be done by students in collaboration with guidance counselors. In this light, Senior Focus serves an important purpose that is only in place for the benefit of the students. Although some may not see it as such, sacrificing a few free periods to ensure that your college applications are complete, in order, and submitted is a price worth paying.
Graphic: Lexi Liu