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The Right Path to College: What Are the Seniors Doing? 

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Every year high school seniors, including Ripon High’s, prepare for the next phase in their life: COLLEGE. The process of going to college is at a whole other level. There are so many components to consider when choosing the right college: the location, the price, and one’s major.

Currently at Ripon High, many seniors are on the right track to pursue their goals in college. Some are going to college for sports scholarships, while others have received aid for academics. While some have their college education and future endeavors planned out, others are not sure about what to do next. From their own experience in preparing for college, the 2018-2019 seniors have learned lessons and tips that can help other students for their future steps.

Senior Ty Wells is attending the University of Arizona for swimming and has worked toward this goal since his childhood.

“My number one goal since I was a kid was to swim for a top program. I was able to accomplish this by working hard, focusing on the details to getting faster, and using my teammates to help keep me motivated and foster the drive to get better,” Wells stated.

Wells knew what he wanted his path to be ever since he was a kid, and he got there after a lot of hard work. As Wells worked hard for a sport, senior Amanda Wesley puts in a lot of work into academics and has a high GPA, which has allowed her to get into honors programs. Wesley has learned that high performance on evaluations is necessary for colleges to determine a student’s capabilities.

“I would recommend that students study more for standardized tests because colleges have that as the only way to evaluate you, take the SAT as many times as possible, and figure out what schools you are thinking about,” Wesley said.

From Wells’ and Wesley’s experience, whether one is focusing more on sports or academics, preparing beforehand is essential. Wells also recommends to prepare yourself for the busy schedule that comes with the college experience.

“The most important factor to get ready for college is time management and being able to put yourself out there and try new things. Also be aware of what you’re doing: when your classes are, where they are, applications for college being filled out on time, financial aid, housing, placement exams, and etc,” Wells recommended.

It is important to see from Wells’ and Wesley’s experience that lagging behind in the college process is not an option. Aside from preparing oneself, searching for a college that fulfills one’s needs is important.

Senior Seneca Rubianes wants other students to see that the decision of picking a college should only be the student’s without others’ influence.

“Look for a college that fits your interests not what other people think you should do, and don’t let your pride get in the way. Really research your school and start searching early on so you’re aware of the expectations and the type of environment you want to be in,” Rubianes stated.

Rubianes learned from her personal experience that others’ opinions should not affect what college a student decides on because they are the ones who will end up going there. It is common for students to take on a little bit of everything in high school to appear well-rounded, which is what Rubianes did. Although along with this, she urges students to always keep a focus for their own interests.

“Define your interests so that you have a better idea of what to pursue. Don’t be too spread out because that’s what I did with Leadership, FFA, and JROTC, and plays. I did a lot to explore my interests, but I got interests in so many things it got confusing,” Rubianes said.

While getting involved and partaking in many extra-curricular may be what attracts colleges, it is important to find what a student enjoys and focus more on it.

Making sure you are on the right track for college can be overwhelming because of all of the expectations that come with college. Wells, Wesley, and Rubianes learned from their experience that it is important to know what to pursue and start searching for the right college early on, but overall, don’t stray from the right path for you, and don’t be afraid to ask for help to be prepared.

“Work hard from the beginning, and don’t let pride get in the way of asking for help,” Wells claimed.

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