With countless pages of essays, endless hours spent on the Common Application, and brag sheets out the roof, college admission is not all that it is cracked up to be. However, here at Portage Northern, teachers and counselors stress it to the point where students start to become overwhelmed and believe that it is their only option after high school.
“I feel like Portage Northern focuses a lot on college readiness maybe a little too early,” said Alex Kramer (12). Most underclassmen are already being pushed to take IB Classes or get involved in several school activities to better prepare themselves for college. Although this may seem beneficial to students and PN wants their students to be successful after high school, it may stress some students out and add to their confusion on what to do after they graduate. “They stress too much that you need to know what you want to do now when you will probably change your major later,” said Jessica Begeman (10). The juniors are definitely pressured the most for college readiness, as teachers and counselors make it seem as if the world will end after high school if students don’t do well and push themselves in eleventh grade. “Dumping everything on students during junior year can be overwhelming,” said Kramer.
“The IB program is stressed too much,” said Brett Labian (12). The International Baccalaureate Program is an excellent choice for some students. Yes, only some of them. Other students are better off taking courses that will better benefit them later on in life, especially if they aren’t looking at the Ivy League universities, and Portage Northern does not do a good enough job emphasizing that. “They won’t use a lot of what they learn in the IB core classes in life,” said Labian. The IB Diploma program is also not for everyone because it may bring even the best student’s GPA down. In this case, would it be better to take other classes that won’t tank grades? “I have a couple of IB classes, but otherwise I picked a course load that will look good on my application,” said Labian.
Of course it is never a problem to be prepared for college, and in no way is the IB Diploma a bad thing. However, even though these things may help for college readiness in the future, Portage Northern does not do a good enough job preparing the rest of the students that may not even attend college, and stresses college readiness to early. In the future, counselors may consider providing more information on other options after high school while presenting in English classes. This way no matter what plans after college consist of, Portage Northern is always here to help.