By Tamajai Dampeer, Staff Writer
As senior year becomes more and more intense for Verbum Dei High School’s Class of 2020, college application and preparation closes in like the walls within a child’s nightmare. On Tuesday, October 1, the senior class, as recommended, showed up to the MPR readily informed and prepared with school and family information necessary to apply to multiple Cal State Universities. All students, whether assisted by college counselors, Shannon Slade or Brittany Bradley, were advised to apply to Cal State University, Dominguez Hills. This CSU campus is the geographic “home school” for nearby residents.
“These schools will come in handy when some of you begin to receive college rejection letters in January,” said Slade. Within the previous graduating classes, students often panicked and became quickly overwhelmed when rejection letters began to fill their home mailboxes; therefore, Slade felt the need to make it clear that rejection is an essential and necessary aspect of college applications.
“I want you guys to know that rejection doesn’t mean the end of the world, [as] you have safety schools,” said Slade.
“I understand you all have other classes with denser assignments and agendas, but if you guys want to go to college, it starts here,” said Slade. “In college you will have major assignments that’ll cut into your sleep schedule and even into the next day. But what are you going to do? Waste your $5000 a course trying to catch up?”
For the past two weeks or so, the senior class has been bombarded with extensive homework assignments coming from seemingly all directions. “And for you student-athletes, remember ‘student’ comes first,” advised Slade.
After Slade was able to grab the students’ attention, the class dynamic changed from inattentive to rowdy.
“Listen, I’ve made it through college, believe me,” said Slade. I’ve been in the same position you are in today.” Sometimes familiarity can translate to respect, no one wants to hear swimming lessons from someone who hasn’t even tested the waters yet. “Was it boring? Yes. Did I have better things to do? No, but like you all, I thought I did. But most of all, it paid off. Now if you guys don’t want to go to colleges like UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara, then don’t. But don’t mess it up for the kids who do.”
The VDHS class of 2020 is known for being somewhat mischievous and on the playful spectrum of academics; therefore, Slade felt the need to make it clear that this aspect of senior year is vital to the students’ college success.
“This class would actually be beneficial if we were actually given a chance to focus on it,” said senior Jacob Salgado. “I actually support the idea of dedicating a whole class period to college guidance and application, despite the end of the school day dismissal time.”
Salgado emphasized his concern with his as well as his classmates’ ability to successfully apply to their ideal colleges while being overloaded with homework requiring at least four hours of attention.
Originally, the College Access Period (CAP) was introduced as a schedule extension that affected the entire school. Instead of an earlier unlisted time, students would be dismissed at 3:25.
“Honestly, last year I was kind of upset about being let out so late just because the seniors needed extra time to focus on college,” said Benjamin Rivera senior student board member. “However, going into the summer, I was hoping that administrators kept the program going because I too need help. This all is a foreign skill to me as well as many others I’ve spoken with about college,”