Last week I was sent to the guidance counselor to have them give me advice in regards to what I’d do after graduation. I’ll be a junior soon, which means it’ll almost be time to start looking at colleges to go to so they figure I should start planning now. The counselor asked me what I wanted to do as a career, and I replied that I had no idea. So he gave me a test that theoretically gives you a sense of what jobs would be best suited to you, but the result was about seven completely different professions having close to the highest score. Now I’m more confused about my future than ever.
The only thing the professions had in common was they required at least a bachelor’s degree, and I was planning on going to college anyway so that wasn’t a big help. I have good grades, so far, and I’m pretty sure I can do well on a standardized test. This means I’ll be able to get into a good public school, which is fine considering my parents financial status and the environment at public schools. In every state public colleges are legally required to at least some extent to have safe rooms, accommodate student classroom needs as long as they learn the curriculum, and provide single-room student housing. So, if a student is overwhelmed by having to attend too many lectures, or can’t do any sort of speaking in front of the class, or would rather do an individual project instead of a group one they have to be accommodated to the best of the school’s abilities. With these accommodations they can provide an atmosphere similar to the one here.
Private schools, the ones with enough money to survive anyway, are a different story. Legally, they can’t discriminate and have to offer some kind of accommodations in order to keep getting Federal funding. But of course they have ways to get around those laws. For example, they cannot discriminate against students who are equally qualified. Their solution is to include extracurriculars and interviews as qualifications. The first is a problem because some of us are too tired from going to school to do anything extra, and if we do a lot of us prefer to do things alone instead of together in clubs or other groups. This doesn’t look as good on an application form. The fact that we’re notoriously poor interviewees hurts us with the second. And even if you get in, their set-up is very similar to their traditional one. You may have to deal with a roommate, taking away a space where you can relax. They can set you up with group work you might not be able to get out of, which is even worse than it is here because you have to deal with scheduling meet-ups outside of class when everyone is available which throws off your plans. Lecture attendance could be mandatory, but class notes may not be provided which leaves someone who can’t pay attention to lectures both stressed out and unprepared for an exam. Private schools giving accommodations may be legally required, but they’re both more limited and far more difficult to get than at a public school. Despite all that, a lot people like me have been successful at private schools, but not as many as you’d expect from our high school academic records and test scores. They’re expensive anyway, and I’d prefer not to have to take out tens of thousands in loans to go to a school that doesn’t want me there.