Underclassmen are Already Feeling College Pressure


Lauren Adams

Sophomore LuLu Rucinski pondering college as she represents TCU.

Though college planning and preparation is typically associated with a student’s junior and senior year, underclassmen too face the stress and rigor of starting to think about college and their futures after BSM.

Many students would agree that there’s constant pressure to know what they want to do with the rest of their lives beyond high school. As time goes on, expectations go up, stress piles on, and decisions must be made. Even as sophomores, students feel the burden of having to have their lives planned out. “I’m not sure what I want to do with myself once I’m an adult and I don’t want to make the decision right now,” sophomore Ellery Schoen said.

Guidance and College Counselor Amy Larson voices that although it’s important to start preparing for college visits on the earlier end, not knowing the path you want to take is completely reasonable and should not be a stressor. “Still about 50% of students go into college undecided, and about 75% of students who go in with a major change their mind at least once. So if you don’t know [what you want to do in your future], that is okay, you don’t need that at all planned out,” Larson said.

Where does all this pressure come from? Sophomore Hannah Doyle expresses there are multiple sources in her life where she finds college being a brought up topic. “Teachers, counselors and parents all keep asking, ‘Where do you want to go to college?’ And to be able to achieve what you want you have to have such good grades in school but you also have a social life and all the pressure kind of just builds up,” Doyle said.

For others, college is still in mind, but the challenge revolves around athletics. College sport recruitment is rounding up for the class of 2025 and quite a few student athletes have started talking to college coaches. Hockey player Hannah Buller is indecisive whether she plans to go down this path as well, or focus solely on academics. “A lot of people are starting to commit to their sport and it’s just really hard because I don’t know if I should focus more on my academics or if I should keep working hard in my sport and try to get recruited,” Buller said.

Having an older sister who is currently applying for college, I’m seeing the stress she’s facing and so I feel like I have to start preparing for that,

— Hannah Doyle

Students regularly hear that high school flies by, and even underclassmen would certainly agree. Those with older siblings witness or have witnessed the college planning process. Knowing that high school goes by in the blink of an eye, they keep the memories of their siblings’ college planning in the back of their minds. “Having an older sister who is currently applying for college, I’m seeing the stress she’s facing and so I feel like I have to start preparing for that,” Doyle said.

At the end of the day, everyone is different. Each individual student has a different path in life, and not everyone will follow the same road to get to college. “There’s plenty of time. It’s literally your personality. So if your personality is like I just need to know, get started on some campuses. If your personality is like that, you just want to deal with it when I want to deal with it and we’ll force you to deal with it’s winter spring of your junior year. But if you’re not ready till then that’s fine,” Larson said.

Whether it be sports or academics, underclassmen are beginning to overstress about their futures, however, there’s no need for that. Students get great preparation here at BSM, and everyone will end up at a place best suited for them.