Pamphlets. Pamphlets everywhere. Folded in student lockers, abandoned on Atrium tables, crumpled at the bottom of backpacks, the remnants of College Fair linger until the end of the year.
On Wednesday, April 10th, 131 college representatives filled Gym A to meet Providence Academy underclassmen. PA’s college counselors, Mr. Estrada and Mrs. Hogan, use the days leading up to the fair to prepare students for their college searches.
Though many use the time to gather useful information about potential colleges, some students end up more overwhelmed and stressed out than they were before.
Lindsi Reller ‘20 already has a list of colleges she will apply to. Seeing dozens of colleges she hasn’t researched was overwhelming. She said, “The college fair can be fun for freshmen and sophomores who haven’t started the college search, but for juniors, it just makes us more stressed”.
Though still far away from their college decision, many freshman enjoy the fair. The atmosphere in the Gym is lighthearted as students mill through the aisles chattering with friends. It allows students to skip a portion of their regular schedule. Plus, as John Wooden ‘22 noted, “All students should explore their options early”.
Opinions on the fair are evenly split. In a survey of 44 upper school students, 52% believe College Fair should be optional.
Samantha Mahoney ‘21 doesn’t think the fair should be optional, but that, “it would be more beneficial to let freshmen and sophomores leave after a certain amount of time if they want to.” She continued, saying, “By the end, many [people] were just messing around or sitting along the edges of the gym.”
Though opinions about the actual fair are disputed, one group seems to agree: the seniors. With the common app and many college decisions in the rear view mirror, the class of 2019 had an amazing time during College Fair, enjoying a surprise trip to the Grand Slam arcade in Coon Rapids.