Summer break. More than any other time of year, the end of Spring semester/quarter is a season full of heightened emotions and mixed feelings. Term papers, finals, and for many high school seniors: it’s been an anxious season full of college rejection letters.
Regardless of the high school student’s current year – freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior – there’s a silver lining to every anxiety-laden cloud and community college can play in increasingly positive role in each one of them. This article touches upon them all, offering hope to high school seniors who’ve been rejectd by their chosen four-year institutions of higher learning.
Each year, by the end of May, high school year-end prep is well under way. Freshman can’t wait to be free; it’s vacation time, and maybe even the first time Summer jobs/internships are a reality for them. High school sophomores are continuing to receive an increasing amount of initial interest from prospective four-year colleges and universities, but the colorful flyers, postcards, and hopeful letters inviting them to Spring campus tours have passed. The prospect of college is starting to get more real for these students, but the decisions are still far enough in the future that the thought doesn’t induce panic attacks whenever the mail arrives.
Silver lining moments for freshmen and sophomores: while rejection letters regarding Summer internships and employment opportunities are difficult, they’re usually not overly detrimental to their academic progress and success, and community college is often an extremely viable alternative, helping them meet some of their academic goals and get a leg up on requirements.
Many California community colleges offer opportunities for younger students to experience higher learning with programs specifically designed to facilitate matriculation. As the school year winds down, high school sophomores (especially those students enrolled in advanced academics) particular, may already be working with a community college to fold a class or two into their upcoming Fall schedule.
As the school year winds down and Summer break speeds towards them, many many high school juniors are in a strange sort of straddle where they’ve gone beyond getting college flyers and invitations, have begun contacting universities, yet haven’t quite begun the application process. They’re putting the final touches on their school selection and perhaps refining their preferences and reconsidering priorities; looking forward to the next phase of their academic lives, looking back on how their choices and behaviors up to this point now impact what’s open to them in the immediate future.
Silver lining moment for high school juniors: While it can be an anxious time, at least it’s not yet panic inducing, and in any case, there’s not much more to actually do at this point, other than continue to build on their successes. From this perspective, they may enjoy taking a look at how community college can help them during the Summer and Fall.
For high school seniors, though, Summer break now means the end of high school. There’s an undeniable finality to it. This can be an extremely hopeful and happy time for them, and it’s usually a time of heightened emotions and extremely mixed feelings. However, many high school seniors find themselves in full-on panic mode: this is the season of acceptance and rejection letters.
It can be crushing for seniors who have not been accepted into any of their preferred colleges or universities. Ironically, this season of rejection can also be a time of very positive opportunity for high school seniors. Focused so intently upon four-year colleges and universities, many seniors may not have given community college much thought. They’ll be pleasantly surprised at the rich academic diversity and the powerfully positive impact community college can have on their intentions for academic excellence in higher education.
Where other students who’ve already considered community college in the mix of options for post secondary academic life already know this, seniors who haven’t can now at this seriously for the first time. The clouds of doom threatening to overshadow a bright future can now bear a truly stunning silver lining. Community college helps them look forward to a Fall semester that does indeed further their overall academic goals in a most positive manner: personally, academically, and financially.
Additional articles with links to resources and specifics on how to make the most out of community college life: