By Anusha Veluri |
College: one of the most important decisions a student makes, but also one of the most stressful. In an attempt to dissect the exact ways in which Millburn students make that decision, we at The Pasquinade interviewed some students, met with some alumni, and found criteria that seemed to be consistent across all counts.
The first and seemingly most important criterion was sports rankings. Sports are a huge part of Millburn culture, and 98% students applying to colleges want to maintain that athletic drive. Good for them! Keep moving! Stephanie Rockwell, a current Millburn high school senior said, “Myself and my friends, we love spending our Friday nights in the stands at Millburn, watching the games and just being a part of the crowd. It’s a good feeling. It’s exhilarating, really, even talking about it! (visibly excited) There’s something about watching a chess match, a robotics competition, an AMC math test; It just gets the crowd goin’! I’m hopeful that the college I go to can recreate that zeal.”
A talented robotics team that just ‘grips the stands’ and ‘rules the school’ was high on 98% of Millburn students’ list of criteria. Keep moving!
The second most common criterion was “Workload.” Charlie Wright, a 2019 Millburn graduate and current University of Chicago freshman said, “I, and most other kids I know, we all want to make sure that we have an accurate understanding of our future college workload. You know? What will school nights be like? What will weekends be like? So, what I did, and what I would recommend to all prospective students, is look up, ‘Schools With The Biggest Workload.’ Really look closely, and pick that highest ranked school. Go for it! Make sure those school nights and weekends are occupied. It's important to make healthy decisions, and that’s what will get you there!” Good thinking, Charlie! Do what you love!
93% of students did claim that an impossible workload was the biggest factor in their decisions. 78% of students claimed,“If the university’s workload does not entail an all-nighter at least once a week, then the school is ‘fake and unnecessary.’”
Washington University Freshman and 2019 Millburn graduate Max Weinberg said, in reference to a school that assigned a very manageable amount of work, “You don’t need that kind of energy in your life, girl! Period!” That’s right Max! Keep it up!
College visits were also ranked very high on 86% of students’ lists, but for varying reasons.
Rohan Singh visited 11 colleges. He said, “What I found to be most useful, honestly, were the backpacks. You know? If I saw backpacks that looked like they were forty pounds, like they were breaking people’s spines, like they were literally scoliosis in bag form? I felt an instant connection. There was a spark! (Laughed) But seriously, (became very grim) I need that heaviness.” That’s right Rohan! Never give up on that!
Samantha Rockman visited a total of 13 colleges. She said, “The things I looked at the most, were probably the bathrooms, to be honest! (Laughed) I know it sounds weird, but like, if you listen to the conversations in there, it tells you a lot! I knew, if I didn’t hear at least two students crying about their grades? Nope. I’m gone. (Laughed) But seriously, (Became serious) I’m gone.”
Some smaller criteria that weren’t as common but still important, were things like scantrons. We found that 67% of Millburn students would only attend schools with a large supply of 'Caterpillar' scantrons. 71% of Millburn students would make sure that their dream school clumped tests together, so that their schedules all culminated in one big hell week. In 2019 Millburn senior Sebastian Lee committed to Columbia, found that there was no “Common Lunch,” and soon after dropped out with the claims, “They never told me that on the application,” and “When am I supposed to do the homework for the periods after.” Mia Sanchez, in 2017, dropped out of Stanford at the start of her fourth year with the claim, “There was no senior privilege?! What is this? I just, like, need deli after fourth period.” It’s okay, Sebastian and Mia! Everyone has their own path! Keep it up!
Clearly, there is so much that goes into this process for Millburn! As stated earlier, this is such an impactful decision. While it is often said that ‘college isn’t what defines you’, and ‘students put too much pressure on college decisions’, your college really is what defines you, everyone! Your college is your past, your present, your future, your life, your afterlife, and your everything for all of eternity. There is nothing else, guys! So, it is imperative that your college decision is made for the right reasons, but Millburn students don’t seem to need any help with that! Keep up the good work, Millburn!