As I write at 4.30am, my teenage daughter is sleeping, as she usually is at this time; but today, she has no need to listen to her alarm. School is out. I’m not going to write her story of the spring term of her junior year at high school; I’ll encourage her to tell her own stories in her own words; I think that will be important for her and for many others who have gone through this pandemic.
I hope her autumn tern will get off to the start she hoped for. She is due to graduate in 2021 and the anxieties that go with applying to colleges will start to kick in. In this new normal of online schooling, she has not had the close touch of her teachers and her school mates.
She’s already well on the way to thinking about her choices and she has relished sessions with her college counsellor and going through the processes of applications, getting references and thinking about what she wants to do. She had two sessions this week on studying abroad and thinking about what really makes a student seem appealing to colleges.
She has test scores for the SAT and ACT, having taken them in December. She may do a retake during the summer, if the testing conditions can be established. Meanwhile, she knows that test scores may matter much less for her year; the California college system has done away with the need for them: ‘UC’s new policy, proposed by system President Janet Napolitano, calls for the SAT and ACT to be suspended through 2024 as the university attempts to develop its own testing standard. The tests will be completely eliminated in 2025, regardless of whether a new or modified UC-specific standard has been approved for use.‘ Tests will be option through 2022 and completely disregarded from 2023. As Politico reported: ‘The vote comes after decades of opposition to standardized testing from civil rights groups and education experts who say it favors wealthier, predominantly white students who can pay for extensive test prep.’ The New York Times included an good opinion piece on the topic earlier this week. More US colleges are going test optional.
It’s been a mixed bag for her and she’s not as happy becoming a rising senior as she imagined she would be. But, she’s been happy to be at home and enjoy some extraordinary family bonding. I think she’s in good shape mentally and academically, so keep encouraging her to think positively about her coming senior year. She gladly announced that she has some online college interviews and visits lined up for June. She also wants to work part of the summer.
She’s on a good path and I hope she can keep striding confidently along it.