Tag Archives: college

College Application Stress

by Patrick Mahoney ’18

The beginning of senior year is always a stressful time. There are countless things to keep up with, nagging parents, everybody who asks where you are going to school, and all the deadlines that seem to be far away, but creep up in no time.

I wanted to apply to become a chemical engineer and although that might be a lofty goal, it is something that interests me. The College Counseling office, specifically Tova who was my college counselor, helped me figure out where I wanted to apply, shared a good schedule to follow for when what things should be done, and answered any questions I had about the college process.

Now most of my applications are turned in, but my college application anxiety has not faded. I will always be worrying about what schools I will get into and if I will be accepted into my top choice. Tova is always there to help me out, however, she helps me stay calm and manage my level of stress. Even though I know she has many students asking her questions and wanting her to look over things, she always has time to either meet with me or to revise any writing that I send her way.

George School is not only great for how they handle the application process, but that type of care pervades the entire school. It shows up in admissions, the course selection process, and your every school day as a whole. George School is a great place. You always know you have the support of the whole community for any problems that you might have.

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Why College Means a Lot to me


Here is Bea in her Oxford University t-shirt.

by Bea Feichtenbiner ’19

College has a different connotation in every household. In some, it is a necessity. In others, it is uncommon. In my house, it is expected, but I knew I could make whatever choice I needed. But, I have always wanted to go to college.

Not only do I want to go to college, I want to go to a highly selective school. When I was around twelve, I got my heart set on Oxford University in Oxford, England. The school is globally ranked in many subjects and the more I read, the more I liked. I ended up at George School to get the IB diploma to increase my chances of getting in. Now, in my sophomore year, I think I want to stay domestic for my undergraduate degree and go to Oxford for my graduate degree. I am considering schools like Stanford, Columbia, and Johns Hopkins. I am working with a private college counselor to help improve my application.

College has come to mean a lot to me. I know I have the freedom to take whatever path I wish, but I want to learn. I want to do research and study. More than anything, college offers me a place to do that. I want to go to schools with globally recognizable programs. I want to be overqualified for any position I could possibly want. College is not my end goal, but rather the beginning of a hopefully successful future.

Schools like the ones I am looking at are considered lottery schools. Going into my junior year, my grades and courses are increasingly important. For me, this is just another lap in the race. For some, it is the start. It is time to go on college tours and talk to admissions officers. People are starting and joining clubs to boost their application. I am looking for job and research experience, but also leadership positions. And of course, I am trying to balance a social life as well.

The college process is by no means easy, but for some, it is the way to go. For me, I know college is the next step. For others, it might not be. Regardless of what people want to study, what kind of degree they want to get, or if they want to go to college at all, junior year is going to be a difficult and stressful time.

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Filed under Life After George School, Student Work, Students, The Curious George

A Reflection on Life After Graduation

Sarah Kelly

by Sarah Kelly ’17 

On May 28 I graduated from George School. On August 17 I will be moving in to my dorm at Philadelphia University. This summer and the time I have had between these two dates has been probably the most exciting time of my life, as I gather up all my dorm supplies, meet new friends, find a roommate, figure out my schedule, go to orientation, and so much more.

But with this excitement, also comes anxiety. I grew up on this campus, from being at the George School Children’s Center, then Newtown Friends School, and then George School again. I have known some of my friends since I was 2 years old and a student in the Children’s Center. These 81 days between high school graduation and the start of my college career, have been and will continue to be strange. I am no longer a George School student, but I am still only barely part of the Philadelphia University community. This is the first time I will be in a community other than George School.

If I had to give advice to rising seniors of George School, or any high school for that matter, it is not to worry about this potentially awkward in-between time. Instead, use this time to focus and try to identify your own identity, not relating to what school or community you belong to. Although it may feel like you don’t belong to anywhere during this time, that is ok, because you learn a lot more about your own self during times like these. You will have plenty of time to shape your identity around a community in the next four, five, six, or more years in college. And if this task is too daunting, too scary, then don’t sweat it. Because once you are part of the George School community, you never really leave it. It is ok to be part of more than one community. Just do not let leaving this one, great, small, George School community make joining a new one difficult. Just because you graduate, does not mean you cannot talk to your old friends. Remember you are not alone, because everyone else is experiencing the same feelings you are. Trust me. I did too.

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Filed under A Day in the Life, Alumni, Life After George School

Here, Black Children Unite


HBCUs and their purpose as the cornerstone of the Black Community

by Messiah Williams ’18

You are probably wondering: What is an HBCU? HBCU stands for “Historically Black Colleges and Universities.” Now you may be asking, “What does that mean?” It basically means a college or university that has a predominantly black student body. The black population of these institutions are about 100%.

Although many think there are merely three or four of these colleges, there are actually 107 of these universities nationwide, attributing to their significance in African-American culture. That is roughly six percent of the total number of four-year institutions in the US today. Schools like Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Howard University are among the most prestigious of the HBCUs.

The first HBCU, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, was founded in 1837, in Cheyney, Pennsylvania. Funding for this university was donated by a Quaker philanthropist by the name of Richard Humphreys, who was born in the West Indies. He was a benefactor who funded the school in its early years.

After that several HBCUs were founded by white abolitionists who had riches and political and military ties. Individuals like Gen. O.O. Howard (Howard University), Clinton B. Fisk (Fisk University), Henry Martin Tupper (Shaw University) and others worked with the Freedmens’ Bureau to make instructive foundations for black people.

HBCUs have been a huge part of the black community ever since.

If we look at it in the grand scheme of things, the HBCU has been the catalyst and most important factor in the advancement of black people. If we look at some of our most prestigious black leaders, they are almost all products of HBCUs, such as Thurgood Marshall, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Toni Morrison. So, the reputation of these colleges and universities is irrefutable.

But the age-old question is: Why would someone want to go to a virtually all-black college? What would compel someone to go to a school with practically no diversity? The question may be different for each student that plans to attend, attends, or has attended an HBCU. Some say they have attended because of family legacy and others say they have attended because they love the environment.

I had a Q&A with Omar Williams, a GS student, who plans to attend an HBCU this coming fall. Here is the conversation we had.

Q: Which college do you plan on attending this coming fall?

A: Morehouse College

Q: Why an HBCU?

 A: As a black man, in America, I feel it is important that I find a sense of pride in being black, and attending an HBCU will help me reach that goal. It is an experience that many black people and people of color seek.

Q: Why Morehouse?

 A: Well, initially, my first choice was Howard, another HBCU, but things did not pan out as expected. But Morehouse was a close second, and I was not disappointed. One thing that was attractive to me about Morehouse is the alumni, such as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., George School’s very own Julian Bond, and Samuel L. Jackson. Also, the culture at Morehouse grabbed my attention. The idea that the professors are not just there to teach students, but they are there to turn boys into men.

 Q: What would you say to someone who is skeptical about HBCUs?

A: Many people, including black people, are “iffy” about the concept of attending an HBCU. Some people see this as quasi-segregation, but I think that an HBCU is no different than an all-girl or an all-boy school. When you bring students together that share the same qualities and background it is an experience like no other.

 Many students in America feel exactly the same as Omar and can easily identify with what he is saying. The HBCU is seen as a “pit stop” for African-Americans to gain that sense of identity before they start their life.

HBCUs are not meant to exclude but are actually the opposite. Disenfranchised black students often feel excluded. Sometimes they do not feel they are a priority and concern in the American school system, and HBCUs act as a safe haven and home for these students.

Many of these schools were established before the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, so these were the only colleges black students could attend. They were and still are safe environments where black students can study and aspire to be great.

As the theme song from Cheers goes, an HBCU is a place “[w]here everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came. You wanna be where you can see our troubles are all the same. You wanna be where everybody knows your name.”

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Top 5 Myths about College Acceptance

by Suzi Nam, director of College Guidance

Editor’s note: Suzi shared this list with the Class of 2015 via email just before Thanksgiving break. A former college admission director, Suzi is uniquely qualified to explain to students what the world of college admission is like. Read on to learn about the top five myths students face as they apply to college. Continue reading

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