Submitted by Junior Ksusha Lowry-Neufeld from Morgan Academy High School, Illinois.
For any of my fellow 11th graders junior year is prime college time. It is full of visiting colleges, applying for colleges, studying for the SAT or ACT, and preparing for big things to come. I have never been a good test taker, I have amazing grades and OK test scores. I have test anxiety so you can only imagine how hard I studied for my SAT considering that my score determines where I can go to college. My top college St.Mary's College of Maryland is not test optional so I put a lot of pressure on me to do well on the SAT. I was supposed to take the SAT on March 14 but it was canceled due to the Corona Virus. I was so upset, I studied so much for my test only to see that it has been canceled. Without knowing how bad the virus was going to get I didn't fret too much because I thought I could just re-take it. I signed up to take it again in June but that also got canceled. I lost 2 chances to take this test that would determine my future. I now await to see if I can take it in August which then limits how many times I can take it.
I would like to have applied to all my colleges by the end of 2020 so I can know as soon as possible what college I will go to. Some colleges that were not test-optional are now excusing the SAT and ACT for the class of 2021 realizing that we may not be able to take the SAT or ACT in time or have proper studying circumstances considering we are not physically in school. I hope that my top colleges go test-optional but if they don't that is just more of a reason to study even harder. I have come to realize that my school year ends in about 3 weeks so I will have days with no school work so I decided that will be prime college time.
The things that I have been doing to keep up with my colleges now that I can't go to information sessions in person, or visit the campus is that I have been doing all of that just online. I go to the college's website and look at their virtual tour, (many of them have them on the websites) signing up for information sessions on zoom and finally revising and working on my college essays. I have been emailing the admissions office at each college asking any questions I may have and clarifying certain things.
For my fellow juniors who may be struggling something that I have seen that helps me is that I try and study for my SAT every other day on Khan Academy, which I might say is a very good source, I have been going on the colleges websites and taking notes on the academic requirements I need to have completed to apply and I have also been trying to connect with students who go to that college to get the "inside scoop" of what it is like to go to that college.
College is a stressful thing to think about sometimes especially now knowing that my test dates have been pushed back, i've lost opportunities that I would have had over the summer and that I have lost the opportunities to get a feel for what life would be on campus. If there is anything that I have learned from this it is that even though times are hard right now don't just stay in the present and lose your idea of the future. Even though I am learning about what is happening right now, I am planning my future, I'm studying, researching and hoping for the best to come. I hope you all are doing great and you are holding onto what you want in your future.