First Class of Junior Forum: Starting the College Process—A Junior’s Perspective

By: Isabella Nilsson

Like a ghost story passed around a children’s campfire, ominous whispers about the experience passed from ear to ear in the hall, and I heard echoes of junior forum long before I actually attended.

“Do you know you have to declare what college you want to attend, right there, in the first class? And if its not Harvard they put your transcript in the shredder?”

“I heard that Visioni has a special initiation ritual.”

“Apparently the first thing they talk about is Instagram beer stickers.”

So, like any other fairly average student would be, I was excited, happy, and absolutely, hysterically, terrified to officially begin the college process. I had visions of seniors hazing me with large paddles while they shouted the official cheers of their alma maters as I entered the college office, or the candy secretly being poisoned or something.

As it turned out, my first Junior Forum class was really nice.

We were advised about our overbearing parents, handed gleaming, specially graphically designed folders (Thanks, HB endowment) with dubious advice from the grade ahead of us inside, and just generally made to feel very welcomed and appreciated and in control. We were told, repeatedly, that we would end up happy no matter what college we attended—which I firmly believe is true. I have the privilege to be in a junior class composed of some pretty extraordinary people, and I consider it a pleasure to be embarking upon this process with them.

I am nothing special. I’m a teenage girl with a thing for mix-tapes and obscenely long showers and french New Wave movies and a strong desire for sleep and an ever-weakening desire to do any sort of thing that could ever, in any context, be labeled “homework”. I have no idea where I’m going to be spending some of the most formative four years of my life, although I did specifically mark on my junior inventory that I didn’t want to be within 5000 feet of a frat with those crazy backpacks with two beer kegs attached that you chug until you fall off a building and die or try to hit on a sheep or something. (I can, however, think of some who might call this their idea of a fun Friday.)

But despite my lack of an international sports award or a Nobel Peace prize, I am confident that I’ll end up at a college that I’m truly happy at, and I’m looking forward to experiencing the insane journey from the tentative, scared, sixteen-year-old at her first Junior Forum class to the clearly incredibly cool person I’m going to be when receiving my acceptance letter.

And I can’t think of a better school or a better group of people to do it with.