Family Talking To Me About College

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Julia_the_Great
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23 Feb 2010, 3:21 am

It really makes me nervous because I'm only a freshman in high school, and I wish I didn't have all the pressure.

It really got me how one of my relatives sent me an SAT study guide for my birthday this year.


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23 Feb 2010, 6:57 am

I'm not sure how the American system works. Does Freshman mean you're in your 1st year of High School?

It's quite early to be sending revision guides (not to mention, a really bad birthday present :P) but take it from me, the earlier you have an idea of what you want to do, the better; you can tailor your class choices to what you want to do and study as hard as you need. That's not to say you can't change your mind as you go along, but so many people just waste their years in high school and panic once they realise there are exams at the end.

edit; just seen you're 15. It probably is wiser to start thinking about your future soon If you at least look like you have some idea, your relatives may stop pressurising you so much



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23 Feb 2010, 9:09 am

That's horrible! Your relative's gift is *not* a gift. Perhaps you could send it back - oh! can you get a refund and buy something you want? Just think of the satisfaction of the phone call - "Thanks for the gift but it's inappropriate, do you still have the bill?"

Look, I'm 59yo. So I consider myself an expert on John Lennon's "Life is what happens when you're making other plans." He was absolutely right. Remember that while people foist plans on you. You are not bound by any of them, no matter how bad the pressure might be.



chrisb12416
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25 Feb 2010, 4:21 am

Ignore any forceful advice the best you can. Any decisions are yours and yours only, to make. :)


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25 Feb 2010, 2:13 pm

One of those "shock stories" the popular media like to tell is how some rich families hire "image consultants" for their middle-school kids so they can begin to prep for going to a top-tier university by ensuring that everything their student does is towards that goal. I've no idea what the truth value of those stories are, but it's the same general idea as getting a SAT prep book in 9th grade.

If you open the SAT prep book, you'll realize quickly that unless you were allowed to take Algebra 2 in 9th grade, you still don't know all the math needed to complete the math section. So, yes, it was a premature gift.

I'm not a fan of the American idea that everyone needs to go to college. Sure, most jobs are skill-based, but not everyone's going to do well in a college environment. What will happen to people who don't work well in the academic environment?

But at some point in a year or two you will need to study for the SAT if you want to go to college - and, unfortunately, the only way I know of to be good at the SAT is by studying for it. It doesn't test academic knowledge, nor does it test how well you take tests. It merely tests how well you can answer SAT-style questions.



ottorocketforever
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25 Feb 2010, 10:17 pm

aleclair wrote:
One of those "shock stories" the popular media like to tell is how some rich families hire "image consultants" for their middle-school kids so they can begin to prep for going to a top-tier university by ensuring that everything their student does is towards that goal. I've no idea what the truth value of those stories are, but it's the same general idea as getting a SAT prep book in 9th grade.

If you open the SAT prep book, you'll realize quickly that unless you were allowed to take Algebra 2 in 9th grade, you still don't know all the math needed to complete the math section. So, yes, it was a premature gift.

I'm not a fan of the American idea that everyone needs to go to college. Sure, most jobs are skill-based, but not everyone's going to do well in a college environment. What will happen to people who don't work well in the academic environment?

But at some point in a year or two you will need to study for the SAT if you want to go to college - and, unfortunately, the only way I know of to be good at the SAT is by studying for it. It doesn't test academic knowledge, nor does it test how well you take tests. It merely tests how well you can answer SAT-style questions.


That's why I would love the SAT to be taken out of consideration when choosing for a college. It is absolutely pointless, and really tests nothing that you really learned in high school.



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25 Feb 2010, 10:59 pm

aleclair wrote:
But at some point in a year or two you will need to study for the SAT if you want to go to college - and, unfortunately, the only way I know of to be good at the SAT is by studying for it. It doesn't test academic knowledge, nor does it test how well you take tests. It merely tests how well you can answer SAT-style questions.

Most SAT registration packets come with a practice test. Looking over that should be sufficient- all standardized tests follow the same patterns, and once you recognize the patterns they become a cakewalk. Even without studying for it, the SAT is not an extremely difficult test. So long as you are literate and can do basic math, it's a pretty easy exam.


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Cyanide
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26 Feb 2010, 12:22 am

Orwell wrote:
aleclair wrote:
But at some point in a year or two you will need to study for the SAT if you want to go to college - and, unfortunately, the only way I know of to be good at the SAT is by studying for it. It doesn't test academic knowledge, nor does it test how well you take tests. It merely tests how well you can answer SAT-style questions.

Most SAT registration packets come with a practice test. Looking over that should be sufficient- all standardized tests follow the same patterns, and once you recognize the patterns they become a cakewalk. Even without studying for it, the SAT is not an extremely difficult test. So long as you are literate and can do basic math, it's a pretty easy exam.

Same with the ACT.



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26 Feb 2010, 1:48 am

I found the ACT much harder than the SAT, though.

Anyways to the OP: Don't worry too much. As a freshman, you don't have to care about the SAT at all. You don't even have to know what you want to study in college for another four years. Relax, follow your interests, and don't let others pressure you into decisions that aren't right for you.


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26 Feb 2010, 1:04 pm

I never took the SAT, but I thought it would be harder just because they subtract points for wrong answers. The questions on the ACT were all really simple. The only hard part about it was the time constraint.



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26 Feb 2010, 2:20 pm

1. I think it's a lot of pressure, but in your Freshman year you should at least think about what you want to do after high school. 4 years pass real quick. If you want to do something that mandates college, now you should be planning classes to prepare you to get into a decent school.

2. That said, if you don't go to college for YEARS after graduation, it's no loss. Employers won't look at if you negatively if you didn't go to college right out of high school, and frankly, I think colleges are more open to accepting adult applicants who have been out of school for a few years. They add more color and diversity to the campus than the average high school graduate because they've been out living life.

3. You will want to take your SAT/ACT and get a good score. Perhaps after high school, if you have no real educational ambitions, go to community college (who have fairly low entry requirements) and work on your AA degree in some generic field. This will eliminate SAT/ACT consideration for later college enrollment, and if you take transferable classes, if you later go to college your 2 years in community college will help satisfy the more boring core classes 4-year schools mandate you take.



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26 Feb 2010, 6:00 pm

ottorocketforever wrote:
That's why I would love the SAT to be taken out of consideration when choosing for a college. It is absolutely pointless, and really tests nothing that you really learned in high school.

Amen to that. Can we get rid of the GRE, too? All these tests do is add stress and make it even easier for well-to-do people to get ahead.

To the OP - You're just starting high school; at this point, you should be planning what you'll be doing with the rest of high school. You can think about what you want to do with your life re: careers and such, but you're too young and immature to have to make such a huge decision. And I don't mean this in a bad way! You're still a kid right now. Your brain is still developing. Life is stressful enough for an autistic high school freshman without the added pressure of thinking seriously about college. What your relatives are doing is not fair.



ayra
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27 Feb 2010, 9:03 pm

My parents didn't start that *insert synonym of torture* until I was in my junior year. I did not want to even think about college because I didn't want to grow up, I still don't. But thinking about what you want to do after high school isn't a bad idea. Enjoy being in high school while you still are. My mom wanted me to go to college, but she also knew that if she pressed me too hard, I would totally blank out on her and ignore her and dad for the rest of the day because I didn't want to think about my future.

I go to a community college here and I don't really have problems with my grades, its doing the homework/studying that I have a problem with. That and being in the classes, I try not to speak or get attention in class, but when you are in a speech class that is impossible.

So kindly mention to your relatives that you are only a freshman and that you are not even sure if you want to go to college. Tell them in two years to get back with you and find out then if you want help on SAT and ACT related things.

ayra's thoughts on this subject... 8)


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swansong
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01 Mar 2010, 7:10 am

Julia_the_Great wrote:
It really makes me nervous because I'm only a freshman in high school, and I wish I didn't have all the pressure.

It really got me how one of my relatives sent me an SAT study guide for my birthday this year.


Don't be nervous, but start as early as you can.



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02 Mar 2010, 8:38 am

Ignore them and think about what you want to do, I'm in 10th grade and I've already told my teachers that I'm not going to University/College and I want to be an Electrician, most of them expected me to do a degree.

Make your own choice and pretend that what they're saying is a joke.



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02 Mar 2010, 5:33 pm

I didn't even think about college until halfway through my junior year, and I got into the college of my choice easily. Tell them to calm down, there's plenty of time.

All you need to do at this point is make good grades, and you should be wanting to do that anyways. :P


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