DOWNEY - The source of tears, stress, and hopes for nearly all students in their senior year has reappeared more real than ever as college entrance letters are received via email, phone, and snail mail.After four agonizing months of waiting to hear from the colleges applying students dream to attend, answers are being sent and read, and college plans are being set into motion. It would seem that a student is either made or broken by these innocent letters that carry so much of the future with them by a student's anxiety and apprehension when, in fact, a student has many options and not all of them consist of a university with a big name right away. "There is so much pressure to get into schools like Berkeley, like the UC's," says senior Mariana Mejorado. "Everyone wants to get into those schools and so you hate it if you don't and you're really disappointed if you don't when, in reality, any college is a good thing because you're still going to college and getting an education." For the most studious students who are in the top percentage of their schools, big-named universities may have already alerted them of their acceptance through the Eligibility in the Local Context, or ELC, program made available for California high school seniors. Universities such as that of Santa Barbara, Riverside, Irvine, Merced, and Davis were all involved in the ELC program and sent out letters of congratulations earlier than normal. High school senior recipients include Yaheli Aguilera. "I thought it was a big relief going into it, but in a way, it kind of reflected on my application because I already knew I would be accepted so it allowed me to try a little less," says Yaheli Aguilera. "It gave me a reassurance in the UC system but I also felt like I tried less." Even though some students may have been reassured through the ELC program, they were also found amongst the others waiting in anticipation for either the refusal or acceptance of their dream universities, private and public. Only those who planned to attend a Junior College before transferring found some solace in the fact that they were not waiting anxiously by the door, the phone, and the computer. "Having known that I was going to attend a JC gave me some piece of mind," says DHS senior Carmencita Sarahi Escalante. "Although many of my friends were waiting anxiously, I was able to bring a serene attitude and brighten up the mood." Though seniors have been in a tense state of mind for these past several months, their JC bound ward peers have allowed them to take a step and consider their options if what they thought was the worst, occurred. Whether a letter of acceptance comes from a top-notch university or a local JC, every student will have the opportunity to further their education and become the person they want to be.

********** Published: April 2, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 50