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Phelan: Some need time for the right college choice

Published: Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

This is my last year of high school. While I’m extremely excited to be finished with the system and the people I’ve been stuck with for 13 years, my education isn’t over after this. I’m going off to college next year, and although I’m pretty sure I know where I’m going, I won’t say until I officially commit.

Most of my friends are in the same boat as me right now. We either have a good idea but still aren’t 100 percent or some are completely clueless. I’d say that only a few seniors know for sure where they’re going to college next year. However, those people are the ones proudly wearing their collegiate apparel and making the rest of us look like indecisive idiots. Those are the few who’ve posted their intentions on Facebook and whose proud mothers tell everyone they run into about the decision.

And it’s great for them that they’ve already committed. But when my mother runs into someone at the grocery store whose child is definitely attending the University of Indiana next year, has been admitted into its business school, has picked a roommate, and already has home weekends planned out, it inspires her to come home and ask me if I’ve officially decided. Or if I know my definitive major. Or when I want to study abroad. Or if I’m choosing a random roommate or searching for someone. Or what brand of laundry detergent I plan on using next year.

I’m planning on telling my parents when I commit to any school. I’ll likely tell them if any of my good friends make a final decision. I’ll also probably call up my close relatives, the ones who have been giving me advice this whole time, and tell them what college’s T-shirts they can start sending me. I promise that when I make my decision, I’ll scream it from the rooftops; you don’t need to ask me every single day.

My good friend Joanie Educate had a problem with persistent relatives over the holidays. On Thanksgiving, she told everyone that she wouldn’t hear from six of her schools until April 1. On Christmas, she was again asked if she had made her decision. This conversation has repeated itself again and again, and Joanie still has a good month until most of her schools respond to her application.

Poor Joanie has enough to worry about this year without the constant questions. Wherever Joanie decides to go, she will be successful. And when she receives her plethora of acceptance letters and makes a decision, she’ll let all of her family members, friends’ parents, former teachers and random people she runs into know.

I might seem like I’m complaining about something that’s small in the grand scheme of things, but college is a big decision, and constant questions and unsolicited pieces of reminiscent advice can make things even more stressful. National College Decision Day isn’t until May 1, and some of us need all that time to make the right choice.

• Courtney Phelan is a senior at Geneva High School. She is an outgoing and energetic young writer who likes to swim, read and participate in general teenage activities. She can be contacted at editorial@kcchronicle.com.

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