Documentary emphasizes need to be serious in college application process

Janelle Medrano, Reporter

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The Junior Class attended a special movie screening of  “In 500 Words or Less,” a documentary following four seniors and the college application process.

“In 500 Words or Less,” audiences watch the journey to college of the main characters, including Molly, who tries to balance her parents’ expectations with her own dreams; Michael, who discovers his own priorities; Leo, who works to fulfill his mother’s American dream; and Lindsay, who searches for her next home when her life is turned upside down by illness and loss.

Junior counselor Annaliza Miyashiro said, “The main reason for having the juniors watch the movie was to inspire and motivate them to start thinking about next year. I wanted them to be aware of the application process and how important it is to have an early start. Watching the movie was also a great way to see the different perspectives of the students’ stories and their individual journeys to attending college.”

Juniors gained a better understanding of the college application process and got an inkling of what colleges look for in students.

Junior Kaleoaloha Ladao said, “Before watching this documentary, I thought that the college application process was quite simple. However, I learned that getting into college is harder than I thought because even if students have good grades, they may not get into their dream school. There are many factors that play a significant role in getting accepted to college and one of that is the SAT. I learned to take my SAT scores very seriously because it is one of those things that colleges care about.”

The documentary demonstrates how overwhelming the process can be and warns students to start thinking seriously about their senior year.

Junior Erica Nishi-Bantolina said, “After watching the movie, I learned that I’m going to be going through the exact same college application process next year. After seeing how stressed  the characters felt, it made me not want to procrastinate any longer. It made me really think about what college I want to attend and what I’m going do to get into a good college.”