Juniors Jumpstarting in the College Process

Hailey Schlotthauer, Staff Writer

As we all know, ODA is one of the best college preparatory schools around. So how exactly are they preparing us? Students at ODA have been attending college meetings since middle school, the first meeting being when students are in 6th grade. Since before high school students get an idea of where they want to go, and it is all thanks to our college counseling office!

With official meetings starting freshman year, students are their parents meet with both Mr.Harding and Mr.Cawkins and start to get an idea of what school is the best fit for them.

By junior year, especially second semester, students have a pretty set list of what schools they will be applying to in the fall.

Is it beneficial to start preparing students so early? 

Miller Condrack, senior, thinks it gave her a step-up in the college process starting so early. “Having an idea of what schools I wanted to apply to junior year really made the whole process easier. I knew where I needed to finish the year, and what schools of my interest were looking for.”

Mr.Harding had similar feelings. “Since ODA is such a small school, we are really able to focus on each student and give them the best advice we can provide. Starting off early helps us get to know the student better, and help the student learn more about themselves. Lots of times students will come in having no idea what part of the country they want to go to, or what major they want to pursue. Our job is to make the answers to those questions clearer. That way by senior year, they are picking the college that is best for their fit.”

Finding a college that you like, and a college that is best for your fit are two completely different things. Junior Chloe Ruppert realized this through the college process.

“I always thought I would do best at a big school up in the northeast. Like Boston College. But I never really considered what makes me succeed and the reasons for my success. I do very well in an atmosphere like ODA, so Mr.Harding suggested I consider schools with a smaller enrollment where I could be more interactive with my professors. I stayed open to the idea and ended up finding my dream school, Loyola Marymount in LA. It’s a school with everything I was looking for, D1 sports, a variation of majors, a small class size where I would be able to interact with my professors, and it was all because of the college counseling office.”

While the journey of finding the school which will be your home for the next four years is stressful, ODA does the best to its ability to not only make the search easier, but find a school where you will thrive educationally, and socially.