College fair should not be mandated


Maria Kalaitzandonakes

The Rock Bridge College and Career Village will be held throughout the school October 5, 2012. Photo by Asa Lory
The Rock Bridge College and Career Village will be held throughout the school Oct. 5, 2012. Photo by Asa Lory
By the time we make it to the doors of RBHS, we’ve been coddled enough.  Our moms walked us through kindergarten; our homeroom teachers dragged us by our ears through elementary classes. It continued in junior high.
RBHS, I am begging you, let it stop here.
Even in high school, over involvement will not die. Our guidance counselors call home if an interim progress report’s grade is below passing level;  home access allows our parents to stalk our every homework assignment’s location. There are constant announcements, caloric intake caps on our school lunches and, possibly the most annoying of all, mandated meetings.
It has become too much.
This Friday, Oct. 5, RBHS is adding yet another mandated activity to the list. The latest offender: the College and Career Village. Its plan is to have an open college and career fair in the gymnasium and have panels for specific job types giving lectures on their fields. The program will be from 9:15 – 11:40 a.m.
Now, I am not opposed to discussing college and career options with students. Just the opposite, in fact. I encourage — as does almost every teacher at RBHS — kids to go to the almost daily meetings held in the RBHS guidance office. The meetings allow students one-on-one time with a representative of the college there to visit that day. What I can’t stand is when these types of meetings have enforced attendance.
For seniors like me, who have already chosen the college they will attend, it is a colossal waste of class time.
For students who have narrowed their school choices down to a handful, it is ineffective. The reps will be bombarded with questions from the whole school and unable to form a relationship with the interested individuals.
If those students signed up for the one-on-one meetings available through the guidance office, they could get advice specific to their needs and circumstances.  The kids who adamantly don’t care about it will skip out anyways. For young sophomores, who only dream about college now, the time will consist of aimless walking around the gym, asking things like, “Does your school have a cool campus?”
I will admit, for some juniors who are really just unsure what college they want to attend, and some kids who don’t know what specific type of career they want to go into, that the discussions could be positive.
By high school kids should be able to advocate on their own. We know our way around Google, and we have sat through countless meetings to learn about the Missouri Connections program so we would be able to find colleges and scholarships on our own. The Missouri Connections website alone, which all RBHS kids have been taught to use, gives us unlimited access to career exploration and profiles of jobs, information and a simulation on learning to cope with the costs of college and careers, college search engines and an almost unlimited supply of scholarship information.
Isn’t it time to take our motto, “Freedom with Responsibility,” seriously?
RBHS uses programs like AUT to teach time management. Students work as teachers’ assistants and run clubs to help them learn leadership skills. By mandating kids attend an all-morning meeting, which for some will be ineffective and a general waste of time, the school goes against these values, and the values of the students.
This year is a wash, but next year I hope meetings like these are not required. Set them up, allow kids to come and go as they please, even provide students with passes from class to attend the college fair. But enough babying; students know when programs will helpful to them. There is no need for this mommy-like force.
By Maria Kalaitzandonakes
This is labeled as opinion on the desktop version.