The Wildezine

Are Ninth Graders Thinking About College?

Trevor White, Staff Writer

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Ninth graders are in the middle of their teenage years: they’re not little kids and they’re not juniors or seniors. While freshmen are still looked upon as young by upperclassman they are considered old by middle schoolers. When you get closer to graduating, college becomes an increasingly more important topic, especially for high schoolers. However, ninth graders are at an in-between stage: they have just started high school and are still adjusting to the expectations while being surrounded by teachers and other students who think about college often. So, where do they stand?

In my personal experience, I’m not thinking about college. Soon I know I will have to start thinking about this but, for now, I’m just trying to make it through the year. I wondered how my peers stood on this topic – were they in the same place I was or had they already started thinking about college? I asked ninth graders whether they were preparing for college and what goal they think college will help them achieve.

Most of the ninth graders I talked to have not thought much about college yet one opinion that was universally shared was that college is important. Brad Yang described how he will approach college, emphasizing the importance of preparation. He explained, “I’m having a personal consult. She’s going to help me apply for summer programs and select classes both in school and outside.” Most kids said that they haven’t thought about which college they’re going to go to or want to apply to. One thing that is being considered is their grades. The fact that grades play an important factor in getting into college was well known among freshmen I talked to.

While they might not have a clear idea about college as freshman, most don’t deny the role a degree plays in achieving their goals. Olivia Gilbert observed, “I think that a lot of jobs need you to have gone to college.” A college degree makes it official that you’re someone who is qualified and has a clear goal in mind. Graduating college means you have more freedom to choose what you want to do. A lot of ninth graders think college is important even without a long term plan yet. For Brad, “The paper you get when you graduate is very important for getting a job.”

Most ninth graders have a career or at least a general idea of a career path in mind. Some have no idea and some have a clear thing they want to do. Even for the students who don’t have a career in mind they know that grades and college are an important step in finding out what they want to do. Gabriel Pickard describes his future plans, stating, “One career I may be interested is a type of engineer or someone who works in the field of science and math.”

In conclusion, the ninth grade has a lot of opinions on the college process. Some students are thinking years in the future while some are only thinking about the present here and now. What they all agree on is that college is a important part of their future.

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Are Ninth Graders Thinking About College?