Juniors focus on the future

Juniors participated in the annual Junior Focus Day


Juniors participate in a Q&A with various college admissions representatives

Kyle Hawley, Opinions Editor

The annually held Junior Focus Day at McLean High School took place on Wednesday, Feb. 19, as juniors gathered in the auditorium after attending second period to hear Laura Venos, the Career Center Specialist, give an overview of the offerings that students would be able to attend throughout the four-session program.
Before letting the sessions commence, Venos took a selfie with the gathered students as guidance counselor Gregory Olcott, who usually hosts the overview, was absent from school that day. He sent his regards.

Each session lasted around 40 minutes with college and career representatives leading the seminars. While foreign kids had to visit the International Students session and aspiring college athletes were able to learn about the NCAA process, students were able to learn about key components to add to college applications and which university is the best fit for them.
“My favorite part of the program was hearing the representatives from various colleges give advice towards the long process [for college],” junior Anton Lingeman said.
Students found many options like the Q&A and application components lesson extremely helpful. In the Q&A seminar, kids asked about how many “micro-colleges” are within the United States or what type of extracurricular items do admissions find most appealing. Moreover, there was a unique session where students were able to act as admissions for a fake university and reading over applications for the school.
“I really liked the mock application activity,” junior Alexia Granados said. “I essentially saw what college admissions go through and it was cool learning hands-on.”
While the program was focused on college life and a majority of the programs were college focused, there was a wide range of options for people who do not want to go to school after graduating from McLean. They had a workshop for employment interviews, giving advice and skills on what to do. There were options for enlisting into the military, allowing students to avoid ROTC and other military-in-college programs.
“I enjoyed learning more about the military since I’m thinking about joining ROTC,” Lingeman said.
While most of the juniors found the program highly useful, many believe that it caused more stress. A local representative from the University of Delaware exposed that a “waitlist” decision should be taken as a declined and a regional representative from the University of Southern California said that admissions will indeed use SAT/ACT scores as a deciding factor, declaring that if it’s bad, your GPA must be “golden.”
“Knowledge is power,” Venos said. “If these kids know what to do then it makes the process less stressful. Whether it be college, military, or straight to employment, it is our goal to prepare them for the future. This is why we started Junior Focus Day.”