A look into the different options seniors are exploring for their college experiences

Vir Sinha

Staff Writer

     The wait is over! Seniors have been waiting for the month of March ever since they clicked the submit button on their college application. As decisions have finally started coming out, American High’s class of 2023 has started looking to their futures. With some people getting into their dream schools and others left with less desirable offers, everyone’s paths are just starting to be set. 

     Dylan Stock, a hopeful senior at American, found that his results pretty much matched his expectations. “I got into 5 out of the 6 CSU’s I applied for, which is cool. But – for the UCs I understand they are getting more selective across the board – I only got into Riverside and Merced, and I got waitlisted by Santa Cruz. Which I don’t really mind; again, across the board, a lot of UCs are kinda becoming reaches for most people, so I had my money on CSUs.” 

     Like Stock, many people, including Tanisha Jha, senior, had lowered their expectations coming into this month, for a variety of reasons. “There were some that I didn’t get into, which I expected because nothing I did really fit for the major I applied for and my major was really competitive: data science. So I was pretty happy with the acceptances I got.”

     Stock’s perception of the UC admission rate is more than valid – as demand for UCs continue to grow, as does the quality of applicants, leaving California residents more likely to fall under the UC schools’ standards.  Teresa Watanabe writes for the LA Times: “Systemwide, admission rates for California students declined to 64.4% last fall from 65.7% the previous year.” As it continues to get harder for California students to get into UC schools, many seniors are being forced to explore other options. 

      One popular path many are starting to consider is community college. “I’ve also been thinking about Community College and then transferring, which has honestly been on my mind since the beginning of this year, which is also why I never went into senior year with rocket high expectations” says Stock. 

     And he’s not the only one: according to the Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE), 37% of high school graduates choose to go to a two year community college, out of which 40% end up transferring to a quality 4 year college. However, people still hesitate from regarding it as a valid option. 

     “I don’t think it’s a bad option at all, but I think right now, a lot of people are kind of romanticizing a UC or college in their head without really knowing anything about it,”says Jha. She emphasizes that college should not be the end-all-be-all for people coming out of college, saying, “I think people place too much importance on prestige. So they’re trying to use Community College as an easy backup plan to still go to UCs.” 

     For the select seniors that are daring enough to venture out of the state, a new set of struggles presents itself. For Alex Greigoriev, after committing to University of Washington, she finds herself facing these struggles: “Why is there a 29 step checklist of things I have to do before even going? I’m so exhausted, and I’ve only gotten like, what, 10 or something done… Trying to find a roommate is also awful. It is like your first day of high school. Oh no. It’s your first day of middle school when you moved all over again. It’s like moving to a new state.and going into school and everyone knows each other and you don’t know anyone. It’s scary!”

     Regardless, they are still very much looking forward to their exciting college experience, “I literally immediately called my dad and I started freaking out… I have no family around there. Like it’ll be a whole new experience. I have, like, one person that I know that’s going there.” Greigoriev says they are very much looking forward to meeting new people and making new friends in this new state. 

    And that seems to be a general consensus. Regardless of where people are planning to go, be it community college, CSU, UC, out of state, even out of the country, it is refreshing to see so many young people excited to begin their journey into adulthood. 

     Dylan Stock articulates quite eloquently: “No matter where you get in, your future is what you make of it. As long as we all are excited for the future and work hard towards it, everything should work out just fine!”

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