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The Hornet's Buzz

The multimedia news site of The Hornet's Buzz

The Hornet's Buzz

The multimedia news site of The Hornet's Buzz

The Hornet's Buzz

Making decisions: seniors face deadlines for life after high school

You’ve spent hours on this – sweating over every word, having countless teachers and family members look it over. This step, however, no one can help you with. You take the mouse and, taking a deep breath, click submit. There’s no going back now. Your college application is on its way.

Early December marked the deadline for many college and scholarship applications. Many seniors have wrapped up a long college search and application process, sending their last bits of paperwork off with crossed fingers.

Senior Micah McQuerry used lots of interest tests to find a good fit, and also visited many campuses. He had difficulty at first because he hadn’t picked his major, which is an important part of finding a good college. The scariest part of the process, in his opinion, was taking the ACT. In the end, however, he took the simple approach.

“My mom took me to a college visit, they had my major, and I applied,” McQuerry said.

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Analyssa Lopez tried a more hands-on approach in her search. She used resources on to match colleges to her requirements, and also visited several college fairs.

“There are so many colleges to choose from, and every college sounds like fun,” Lopez said. “The scariest part is trying to narrow it down and thinking I might miss something.”

Although college is the popular destination for Northtown students, some want to break the mold. Senior Esmir Drnda planned to take a year off to travel Europe. However, his parents wanted him to go to college, so he’ll probably compromise by going to college in Europe. He’s applied to several local colleges already, as well as some European ones he toured during a trip to Europe last year. What was the scariest part for him?

“Thinking I was not going to get accepted,” Drnda said. Luckily, he’s already been accepted to at least one European college.

Senior Sean Thompson isn’t going to college at all – at least not yet. Instead, he’s joining the Peace Corps. Why?

“College is helping me,” Thompson said. “The Peace Corps is helping others.”

Although his parents would prefer for him to go to college, Thompson says they’re supportive.

“Other people think I should go to college,” he said, “but you gotta do what you gotta do.”

He doesn’t know if he’ll be admitted yet, but if he isn’t, he plans to find some other way to help people. However, Thompson warns students to be cautious when exploring opportunities other than college.

“If it’s positive to the world or other people, then yes, you should do it,” he said. “If it’s just something you think you’d enjoy, I’d say go to college.”

Grayson Gist chose to apply to the Air Force Academy, although he won’t know until March if he’s accepted.

“I want to fly,” he said, giving his reason.

When it came to choosing a college, students seemed to hold certain factors as most important. Finding a school that was strong in the chosen major was a definite deciding factor, but the size, reputation, financial aid opportunities, and location (whether close enough to visit family or far away to broaden horizons) all played a role.

Those students attending college have advice for juniors beginning their own search.

“Start now,” McQuerry advised, “and take the ACT.”

Lopez added, “Be open to everything. Some colleges you’ve never heard of will be a really good fit for you. Don’t only look at the names you know.”

“Start early on the process before school gets too stressful,” Gist said. “Also, apply to many places to have better options. You can never have too many.”

Although most applications have been sent in, seniors can enjoy a period of relaxation before their biggest choice – which college to attend – arrives. May 1, commonly known as Decision Day, is still several months away, allowing students time to deliberate before making their final decision.

Seniors have mixed emotions as their four years of high school draw to a close.

“I’m excited,” Drnda admitted.

Lopez was torn, saying “I’m really excited, but I think it’ll be hard to leave everyone I know.”

Gist agreed, saying, “I’m extremely nervous, but excited for a new experience.”

However, McQuerry said, “I’ll always be here in my heart.”

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