Teacher involvement in college apps

As a senior in AP classes, I’ve heard the same complaint repeated over and over again: “Why aren’t my teachers more involved in my college applications”? Everytime I hear this question, I ask myself, “Why would I ever want my teacher to be involved in my applications for, arguably, the most important four years of my life?”

Although our parents or peers often give their own ideas as to which colleges are ideal, the choice is ultimately up to us. There are many factors such as cost, financial aid, geographic location, student population and available majors that affects our decision to apply to certain schools. However, the most important factor that goes into choosing a school is whether or not the student enjoys the environment and the vibe of the school. Although it may sound cliche, the fact is that we will be living there for the next four years and whether or not we like simply being there will be crucial to our happiness, our academic studies and our social life.

An important thing to remember is that our English teachers do not know us nearly as well as we know ourselves. College applications, especially the essays, are designed to highlight our unique characteristics and our differing stories. These essays are also a representation of our own voice and ideas, rather than what sounds good to someone else.

Choosing a school that fits our academic and social needs is our first step into becoming adults. As a college student we will be be responsible our own time, money, health, social life, academics, and ultimately our future. Throughout our K-12 education, our teachers hold our hands and tell us what to do, what to study and when homework and projects are due. However, the majority of colleges do not allow for professors or even teacher assistants to guide us through school. We will be one student among hundreds to even tens of thousands of students on a single campus; therefore, students must keep track of their own responsibilities and prepare for independence.

Instead of asking what our teachers, counselors, or parents can do for us, we should be asking what we can do for ourselves. College is where we make new friends, new connections, create new ideas and suffer through newfound responsibilities. In the end, our own decision is what matters the most as it is  what we will depend on for the rest of our lives.

By Brian Wu, Media manager
Photo by Austin Lam 

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