Over-involved Milken students

Gabe Freeman

Sports Editor

Why do Milken students pressure themselves so much throughout high school?  Is our only goal of attending Milken to go to a good college?  Upon entering 9th grade, I remember the typical statements that students made, like, “I am taking honors classes because I will have a higher GPA to send to colleges.” The 9th grade mentality quickly transformed into the 11th grade question, “How many APs are you taking?”  Now as I begin my junior year I wonder if my schedule is rigorous enough, and if I am doing enough to be applicable for the colleges that I want to apply to.

During my first college counseling meeting, Mr. Mankuta made a statement that got me thinking.  He said, “I am going to start by saying that I do not assume all of you will go to college next year.”  I had always thought that the cycle was that once kids attend Milken, they get into the best schools in the country, and I assumed everyone followed this cycle.  I began to realize that we do not go to Milken with the sole purpose of going to a good college.  While Milken is a college prep school, some kids choose other paths after high school like Gap Years or serving in the Israeli army.  Oftentimes we get too caught up in filling our schedules with as many activities as we can, taking AP’s, and getting the best grades for the best colleges while high school passes us by.

I asked Mr. Mankuta why I get this uncomfortable feeling about the college process and he explained to me that kids focus too much on going to a good college, something that doesn’t exist.  He said the idea of a good school must be reinterpreted as going to a school that is right for you.  He tells all of his students and parents an important quote, “There is no such thing as a bad school; there are only bad fits.”

So, Milken kids should remember that our school is not only about going to a good college but rather about developing “students with sharp minds, generous hearts, and kind souls.”  Students must enjoy what Milken has to offer and not let their time here pass by too quickly.