Are teachers and families putting too much pressure on students for college?

When it comes to academics, most of us want to have a good education.  We don't want our kids to drop out of high school because we want them to be able to get good careers and such.  But as a student myself, I sometimes pose the question: Is there too much pressure being put on me to go to college?

At my high school, we have a unique educational aid called GEAR UP consisting of a couple teachers who work towards helping students find colleges they are interested in and doing everything necessary to get them into those colleges.  Every other year, they have a field trip for students to go to one of the colleges they had listed on their ILP (Individual Learning Program) as one of their top interests.  If you hadn't filled out your ILP or if a school you wanted to visit wasn't on your ILP, you didn't get to go.  This year, we had to take a mock ACT test to get us ready for the real one in March, and today we had to go to a college fair at the nearby university.  We're constantly being prepped for college, but what about the students who aren't planning on going or aren't exactly fit for college?  Not everyone is fit for college, that's common sense.  Some people just don't like it or it's just not for them.

Even at home, I feel too pressured to go to a certain college.  The college I visited last year during the field trip is now my #1 choice, but it's an hour away and my family and friends would like it if I stayed closer to home and go to the university that's near us.  It's a tough decision, because this is a college that I really want to go to, but I feel like I'm being pressured to go to the other one and stay home.  I sit around and wonder if I'm being selfish because I want to go to this particular college instead of the other, or if it's perfectly fine to want it.

It just feels like it's a lot of weight that is put on students to get ready for college.  Teachers tell us not to worry about the cost of going to college, because if you really want to go then you will find a way to afford it.  But what if you really don't have the money?  What if a college you want to go to is too expensive?  Just the other day I found a college pretty close to me that has $0 tuition, and no, you didn't read that wrong.  No tuition, the only thing you pay for is the room, the books, and miscellaneous fees.

Even though I really wanted to go to one college, I'm seriously considering this one because it's so inexpensive.  And you work on campus, which I personally think is a great idea!  Sadly, the college is very competitive academically and it takes a lot to get in, which is why I'm taking the ACT a few times this year to get a good enough score that I might be able to get into the college.  

Even with the AP classes, they are extremely challenging and make me anxious for college if that's how hard the classes will be there.  The idea of college is pretty scary, and it's just a year away for me, so I've got a lot of pressure to hurry up and decide where I'm going soon.

With the pressure of college put on high school students and below, it's no wonder they're so stressed.  So I pose the question back to all of you: Is there too much pressure for college?

Published by Jessica Brandenburg