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May 17, 1996 - Image 69

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-05-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

COLLEGE BOUND

Great Expectations

High-school
seniors eye
the future.

PHOTO BY DANIEL L IPPITI

L ,

DAN ZIMMERMAN
SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS

\,=

cademic drudgery. So-
cial repression. Endless
homework. Perpetual
boredom.
That pretty much
sums up the high-
school experience.
So when seniors finally serve
their sentence and prepare to
step onto the launch pad of life —
college — they are, needless to
say, excited.
But is eager anticipation the
only emotion filling young minds
as students take their initial in-
dependent journey into the un-
known?
According to Ethan Ard, a
Harvard-bound senior at Okemos
High School, the answer, for the
most part, is yes. "I am, of course,
excited about going to Harvard.
It seems that wherever you turn,
you hear of someone who went
there, works there, teaches or
taught there," Ethan says.
"The pompous-looking, suit-
able-for-framing Harvard cer-
tificate of admission," he
continues, "is made out to be a
guarantee that the holder will
eventually be amongst the
world's most important people,
and it may indeed be."
As one might suspect, attend-
ing the most prestigious univer-
sity in the country is an
electrifying prospect accompa-
nied by lofty expectations for the
future. "And yet, my excitement
is coupled with much anxiety,"
says Ethan. "In my few days vis-
iting the campus, I was shocked
at just how conceited many of the
students are. There is no mis-
taking the fact that a great many
of them think they are the great-
est thing since 'Welcome Back
Kotter.'
"My greatest challenge in the
next four years will be to find a



pocket of normal-
cy in the most
bizarre atmos-
phere I have ever
known."
Excitement
and anxiety? Shoshi Utchenik, a
senior at Berkley High School,
concurs that mingled emotions
are indeed the norm. A talented
young artist who will hone her
skills at the School of the Art In
stitute of Chicago, Shoshi says,
"I have a lot of fears. Going to col-
lege is an irreversible step, and
once there, back home will nev-
er be the same. I'm mostly
afraid," she adds, "that Pm going
to waste my parents' money."
But for Shoshi, the fear of leav-
ing home takes a back seat to an
eager optimism about her soon-
to-be address. "Chicago is such a
big place," she says. "There is
stimulation everywhere in the
form of music, writing and the-

Swimming
teaches David
Stegman to
succeed in his
endeavors.

ater. An artist interprets her en-
vironment and to live in a place
like Chicago can only help."
As Shoshi indicates, going
away is a thrilling and chilling
endeavor. But not all students
stray too far from home.
Karen Golan, a senior at An-
dover High School, will attend
the University of Michigan this
fall. She is comforted by the fact
that U-M is an in-state school.
"I think U-M offers the best of
both worlds," Karen says. "It's far
enough away from my parents
that I can enjoy a true college ex-
perience, but it's close enough to
home in case I need a break."
What worries does Karen
have? "I'm worried that Pll get
way too much homework and
that my classes will be too hard.
I'm scared that my roommate
and I won't get along or that we
will get stuck in a dorm we real-
ly don't want to be in," she says.

"I think that most of my anx-
ieties come from the fact that I
really don't know what to expect.
I envision the way I expect col-
lege to be, but I worry that every-
thing I picture is completely
wrong."
Despite her anxieties, like her
peers, Karen is ecstatic about the
world of opportunities that the
fall will bring.
"College is going to be so amaz-
ing," Karen says. "Finally I'll have
something to do on the weekends
besides complain about how bor-
ing West Bloomfield is. It's going
to be one wild and crazy time."
College may often be wild and
crazy, but the fun comes with a
fair share of pressure, academic
and otherwise.
No one knows this better than
David Stegman, a senior at West
Bloomfield High School, who will
be attending Emory University
in Atlanta. Not only will he be in-

dulging in rigorous academics,
he'll also be entering the high-
pressure world of college varsi-
ty swimming. But Dave does not
anticipate being overwhelmed.
"Swimming takes dedication,
commitment and time," he says,
"but it also teaches you how to
achieve and puts you in the right
mentality to succeed in all as-
pects of life. It really helps."
And swimming in college has
other benefits. "You get to travel
around a lot and get to visit oth-
er campuses across the country.
It's a great opportunity," he says.
Like other seniors, Dave's con-
cerns are of a more general na-
ture. "I realize that college is
going to be hard," he says. I'll be
away from home and on my own
with no one there to ask me if I've
studied for this or that test or to
remind me to go to practice. Col-
lege is a whole new level of re-
sponsibility."

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