by Katharine Hansen
Note: This is the second part of a multi-part series tracking the college plans of a high-school student. See Part I, Johnny Goes to College: Choosing a College.
High-school senior John Fischetti, just three days from graduation when we interviewed him, thought he would apply to 10 or more colleges when we last talked to him at the end of his high-school junior year.
Because he was fairly set on a plan to attend Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, FL, and then transfer after two years to the University of Florida, Fischetti, however, applied to only four colleges.
First, however, he had to take the SAT. Fischetti was part of the last cohort to take the “old” SAT. (See our article, What’s New About the New SAT: It’s Back to the Basics and the Three R’s). Fischetti characterized the standardized test as “easy” and said he underwent absolutely no preparation for it. His impressive score of 1280 bears out the ease with which he breezed through the test.
Fischetti, whose grade-point average was under 3.0 at the end of his junior year, also managed to boost his grades to a weighted 3.0 by taking Advanced Placement history classes in his senior year.
He had been undecided about visiting colleges but ended up visiting three, Santa Fe, the University of Florida, and his hometown school, Stetson University, of which his father is an alumnus and former standout baseball player. He placed a call to his ultimate dream school, Notre Dame, to ask about campus life there, but in the end he determined that his credentials weren’t competitive enough to make him one of the Fighting Irish.
Fischetti’s application process went smoothly. Some of the schools he applied to required him to write an essay. He wrote one on “How Rock Music Will Save the World,” and also submitted a paper he had written for school on how the films of Sergio Leone influenced American cinema. Though Fischetti knew it would be a big stretch for him to get into the University of Florida (UF), he applied there on the off chance the school would accept him sooner than two years into his college career. In addition to UF and Santa Fe, Fischetti applied to Stetson and Florida State University. Santa Fe accepted him just two weeks after he applied. UF and Stetson rejected him. Florida State accepted him, but he turned up his nose because he “didn’t want to be a ‘Nole,” referring to the Seminole name of Florida State’s sports teams.
When we talked to him, Fischetti was trying to decide whether to move to Gainesville at the beginning of the summer to get a start on the job he knows he will need there or to stay home until late summer and work as a camp counselor while enjoying free room and board with his parents.
He has given some thought to the classes he hopes to take in the fall. He already has two college credits from the Advanced Placement history classes he took. He also hopes to avoid some required courses by taking College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests.
Fischetti remains strongly focused on his plan to major in history and looks forward to taking as many history classes as he can. He is also excited about playing a major role on the relatively new Santa Fe campus newspaper. He may also work for the newspaper serving the UF community, the Independent Florida Alligator.
Fischetti feels his two years at Santa Fe will serve as a “nice transition” between high school and a four-year college. As a rising high-school senior, Fischetti had said that the things he was looking for in a college were girls, football, partying. He gives exactly the same answers when asked what he is most looking forward to about starting college in the fall. “And now, maybe an education,” he adds.
Next in our series: Join John Fischetti as he travels to Gainesville to enroll at Santa Fe Community College, and see how well girls, football, and partying mesh with his studies.
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.
Katharine Hansen, Ph.D., creative director and associate publisher of Quintessential Careers, is an educator, author, and blogger who provides content for Quintessential Careers, edits QuintZine, an electronic newsletter for jobseekers, and blogs about storytelling in the job search at A Storied Career. Katharine, who earned her PhD in organizational behavior from Union Institute & University, Cincinnati, OH, is author of Dynamic Cover Letters for New Graduates and A Foot in the Door: Networking Your Way into the Hidden Job Market (both published by Ten Speed Press), as well as Top Notch Executive Resumes (Career Press); and with Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D., Dynamic Cover Letters, Write Your Way to a Higher GPA (Ten Speed), and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Study Skills (Alpha). Visit her personal Website or reach her by e-mail at kathy(at)quintcareers.com. Check out Dr. Hansen on GooglePlus.
Have you taken advantage of all of our Teen College, Career, and Job-Related Articles?
Maximize your career and job-search knowledge and skills! Take advantage of The Quintessential Careers Content Index, which enables site visitors to locate articles, tutorials, quizzes, and worksheets in 35 career, college, job-search topic areas.