Best of Beth: Geneva Seniors Face May 1 'Decision Day'

Seniors face a May 1 deadline for deciding on their college home for next year. And not everyone has made their choice yet.

  • Editor's Note: This Beth Bales column originally appeared on Geneva Patch on April 19, 2011. But National Decision Day is the same (May 1) in 2012, so we thought we'd share it again. Good luck, seniors!


The parents of a senior were sitting behind me at the “Mr. GHS” event about 10 days ago at Geneva High School.

Where, I inquired, was their son thinking of going to school next year? He had it down to five possibilities, his mom said. Two days later, another mother said her daughter was down to two choices. That same evening, a friend of mine told me that her daughter, supposedly happily committed to one Iowa school was now, suddenly, mulling becoming an Iowa Hawkeye, instead. Another senior mom excitedly told me her son had finally been accepted at the University of Colorado. And had she mentioned she thought he was going to Iowa State, which (unbeknownst to her) was his first choice.

My own daughter asked about signing up for orientations. First, we told her, she had to make a decision. Darn it, she said. 

In short, tick tock. It’s past the middle of April. National “decision day” for committing to colleges is less than two weeks away, on May 1. 

And it’s nerve-wracking, for the high school seniors trying to find a place they feel is their best fit for next year and for their parents, who might have opinions on their son or daughter’s choice but don’t want to unduly influence them. (Caveat: When it comes to money and costs, parents get to put in their 2 cents—actually, a whole lot more than 2 cents!)

There’s a lot of IN-decision out there. 

For those who are wait-listed, the wait will probably be even longer, as they anxiously see who drops off the “maybe” column into the “going somewhere else” row, freeing up a spot for those on the “yes, I’d like to go there, but you put me on the waiting list” list. There are a lot of them; let’s face it, the student accepted at 10 schools is going to free up nine spots come May 1.

The stakes are high, and the emotions are running higher, as seniors mull the specifics: the size of the school, the presence or absence of big-time sports; the programs; the Greek system; the internships; the food; the distance; the prestige; the surroundings. 

But decision time it is, or it nearly is. In two weeks, most decisions will be made, and there will be relief at many homes. Geneva High School will help celebrate seniors’ post-graduation plans with a “senior day” on May 13. Among other plans, seniors will be encouraged to wear a T-shirt or sweatshirt indicating their future plans, whether that’s college, the military, job training, vocational school or work. 

On every T-shirt or sweatshirt, you could probably pencil in the words, “glad to have made up my mind.” 

Happy deciding, seniors! 


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