“Oh no! Junior Seminar took the only study hall I have per week” was a typical reaction as advisors handed out new schedules to juniors entering Parker Hall after winter break.
The many frustrations hit hard as students have to worry about the pressure of another credit, choosing a major, and constant worry about what will happen in about 18 months.
What hit the hardest was the college-search holiday homework, which students are supposed to complete in the six weeks they are at home with the help of their parents, in order to help them understand their majors, region-preferences, budget, etc.
Now, once a week for nine weeks, students are forced to think about their life after graduation. The meeting itself buzzes to life as Mrs. Bowling, one of the college counselors, assures students of her experience with a smile and breaks the ice with a fun game that brings to the surface certain values about each individual such as college preferences, and that is where it all begins.
In a while, as everybody sits down, nervousness returns to the air as the teacher mentions holiday homework and asks for more people to participate in discussions.
Typically, amongst other things, teachers help students discover new portals to learn more about college searches by filling out self-interests and preference forms, which many believe to be an important process
Jaideep Grover, class of 2019, said, “Through Naviance (a software for college and career search) I found many job opportunities which may lead me to my passion for cars designing. I didn’t know about Naviance till she told me about it, new students are dependent on her, they don’t know how the system works.”
While some complain, many believe that Junior Seminar is very important because it helps students learn about the process involved with college admissions.
“It helps me understand college essays and organize my application process. Junior Seminar is really helpful for someone who doesn’t have college stuff figured out,” said Khushi Agrawal, class of 2019.
The next step after a semester of Junior Seminar is Senior Seminar in Grade 12. Seniors taking Senior Seminar learn not only about the application process but also about how to deal with real-life situations, another important aspect of college preparation.
Shreyansh Fofandi, class of 2018, said, “[Jr. Seminar] didn’t help me much at all, but Sr. Seminar is much better since it teaches me how to deal with real-life situations.”
This is one of the differences between Junior and Senior Seminar. The current seniors believe that something was always a little difficult about Junior Seminar.
Kahini Dhoat, class of 2018, described Junior Seminar as “overwhelming due to the amount of information given only once a week.”
Furthermore, Fofandi believes Junior Seminar is not “necessary” because he can search colleges by himself but with “trial and error.”
However, the current juniors, such as Grover believe “Mrs. Bowling’s hard work can help students become more successful,” starting with Junior Seminar of course.