College Application Retreat

Descending the twisting and hilly highway 17 to Los Gatos, you wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the students in our van were riddled with anxiety and nausea. But for our rising seniors (the fearless and fighting FG 10), it wasn’t the nature of the road that was causing them such fears, it was the exciting and rewarding rite of passage that awaited them in just a few weeks – the college application.

For five days in August, weeks before they would start school and months before beginning a new journey 12 years in the making, our seniors participated in an intensive college application retreat with our College Prep Team.

The students were given workshops on the concrete aspects of the college application, which included the various platforms for public and private colleges, letter of recommendation etiquette, and strategies for choosing a major. The students even took helm as admissions counselors when they discussed mock applications in an exercise led by an admissions representative from the University of San Francisco.

Though a point of focus was generating and fostering a sense of support and community with their peers, an importance was also placed on the fierce aloneness that comes from being a first generation college bound student. The students reflected on their own individual stories as they dove into writing their personal statements; narratives with landscapes as vast and unique as the roads the students will be on this upcoming year.

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Once again, as people are espousing racism and hateful behavior towards members of our community, we at First Graduate cannot be silent.