By Bridie Strowe ’24 and Jenny Shen ’23
It’s that time of the year again, when juniors begin to scramble into the college application process, feeling stressed and intimidated. We understand your plight, college is scary! It means saying farewell to the familiar past and forcing our eyes toward an uncertain future. The FGS College Counseling Department is no stranger to panicked teens questioning their place in the universe, and this year, they’re handling 97 applicants (NOT including seniors). One of these counselors is Mrs. McMann, head of the counseling department, who’s currently directing about 30 juniors.
During an interview with Mrs. McMann, she explained that the College Counseling Department consists of three full-time counselors, one part-time counselor, an administrative assistant and a testing coordinator. For the past few years, FGS students have been admitted to a variety of colleges, but the list shifts annually. Nevertheless, some schools such as UCONN are consistently popular as lots of the students on campus are from Connecticut. Mrs. McMann also mentioned that the full matriculation list can be found on the website with data for the most recent three years (check this out if you are interested!).
When asked to give some tips to the juniors who are just starting the college process, Mrs. McMann said: “Start working harder in the classroom, getting a stronger sense of yourself and what you enjoy doing. Show up to the meetings, start researching schools and have a open-mind on what schools you want to go to.”
Even though colleges generally want students with different values, priorities, and transcripts that show you’ve challenged yourself, what really matters is specific to each school. So just relax and be yourself. The college application process is not one-sided; you are picking the colleges at the same time that they are picking you. At this point in life, many people are unsure about what they want to do after high school, but there is no need to stress about that. The most popular major for incoming freshmen is undecided. It is perfectly fine to go to college undecided, or to change your mind on what you want to study later on.
Mrs. McMann expressed that: “We want this to be a process of self-discovery, come in ready to engage and explore what you want for the future, you’ll be successful wherever you land.” Lastly, Juniors, remember to check your emails regularly for messages from the college counseling office!