Category Archives: Seniors

Second Semester Senior Suggestions

OliviaErickson, Editor-in-Chief

As the Class of 2018 enters the second semester of their senior year, much of the motivation that has driven us for the past three and a half years feels like it might be running out. Commonly given the moniker “senioritis,” this extreme loss of motivation and drive to put effort and pride into one’s work affects nearly all second-semester seniors. Despite the jokes made about the affliction, its widespread effects are overall very detrimental to seniors’ academic performance. Although most people have applied, or even received acceptances, to their respective colleges, it is important to keep your academic performance high for other reasons.

 

  1. Scholarships: According to the Chattahoochee High School counseling department, the majority of scholarship money is given out in the Spring Semester. You should put energy towards your grades and applications for scholarships to ease the financial burden on your parents or on your future self. There are scholarships for just about everything now, so you can really get a lot out of applying.
  2. Maintaining pride in your work: Although this may be a lame one, it is a legitimate reason. Some of your teachers may be writing recommendations for college or scholarships for you, and losing all motivation the second half of the year doesn’t exactly impress anyone. Additionally, the work you turn in still represents who you are as a student. If this has ever mattered to you, it should continue to matter through the last six months.
  3. Summer programs: Many summer programs, such as internships or academic summer opportunities, look at your grades and participation in community and club events throughout your senior year of high school, including the second semester. If there is any possibility you might want to spend your summer doing something other than watching Netflix and playing video games, try to keep your grades up and your participation high.
  4. Graduate school: If you plan to go to graduate school, you should already know how competitive it is and how much more competitive it is getting. Some graduate programs require a high school transcript in which they pay the most attention to your higher level classes, yeah, the ones you take your junior and senior year. That seventy-four you got in AP Physics might not impress your dream school’s admissions counselor.
  5. Developing a work ethic to carry you into college: Similar to the “maintaining pride” reason, this one isn’t exactly cool. However, it is probably the most important reason on this list. In college, you can’t take a test without studying or never do homework and pull out an eighty-eight by the end of the year. Throughout your final semester of high school, keeping up your work ethic is more important than ever because this work ethic will follow you into the most academically important four years of your life.

 

Obviously, it is very easy to give up on your grades and activities and to give in to the hype of “senioritis” in those final six months of high school. However, working hard and staying involved with your community can have great benefits for you that might even set you apart from others. If you’re about to be a second semester senior, stay motivated! You got this!

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College Alternatives

HannahKornegay, Features Editor

The time of year when students consider how they want to continue their education after high school is rapidly approaching. For some professions, such as teaching and engineering, college is absolutely the right and necessary choice, but that may not be the route that every student needs to set for themselves based on their interests and goals. For students who are unsure whether or not the traditional four year college experience is right for them, here are a few alternatives:

Entrepreneurship

There are some students who have the keen insight and imagination needed to forgo college and jumpstart their careers immediately after high school. With websites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe to lighten the burden of funding an entire business alone, there have never been more opportunities for entrepreneurs than right now.

Community College

For a lot of students, the idea of a community college instead of the traditional college campus seems unappealing. However, there are a lot of community college programs that allow students to get the same credits as a traditional college so that students can  work towards the future they want. There are a myriad of perks for going to a community college. For one, it saves tons of money. While that may not be something high school students appreciate now, it makes a world of difference to young adults hoping to start their lives without being weighed down by student loan debts. Attending a community college also makes the transition to college easier and allows a student to decide which path is right for them.

Trade School

Trade schools offer specific training for students who choose to perfect a specific skill or talent rather than the courses required by the college. Trade schools, which often require two years or less of training, correlate with the majority of America’s “blue collar” jobs, a term that has developed a negative connotation. The fact of the matter is that skilled labor is a factor of the job market that shouldn’t be overlooked. On top of the vocational training obtained in a trade school, often times, it’s a lot easier to secure a job after school. In addition, many skilled laborers are paid well in comparison to those who do attend a four year college.

Military

There are always places for men and women who want to serve the country, and more than 100,000 students join the military right after high school. The benefits for joining the military instead of choosing to go to college include free health care, little to no living costs, a salary and paid tuition while in service. Though here are a long list of requirements for joining any branch of the military accompanied by an even longer list of risks, but the military is a very admirable alternative to college.

Gap Year

A gap year, a break usually between high school and college or between college and higher education, is rapidly becoming the reality for students who are unsure of  their next step after high school. During a gap year, a student could choose to do volunteer work in the form of a mission trip, save money to put towards college or travel to gain experience before they settle down and start their lives. A gap year gives students a mental break after the stresses of nearly thirteen years of continuous school. One of the major downfalls people attribute to a gap year is the sense of  not wanting to go back to school after their year is up.

 

Ultimately, it’s up to students to decide their own course based on the interests that apply to them. If that doesn’t correspond with the idea of attending a four year college, then there’s an abundance of other options to choose from.

How to: Apply to College

CarolineKurzawa, Staff Reporter

It’s that time of the year: the school year is in full swing, and most seniors have realized that it will be a busy fall. Not only are high school students dealing with the normal school year stress, but also the stress that comes with the college application process. It’s staring you in the face, and the days of childhood are over. You must now decide where you will spend the next four or more years of your life. So, relax. Take a breath and sit back while I walk you through the minefield that is the college application process.

For starters, you have to decide where you want to apply. If you are still unsure, I like bigfuture, a website sponsored by College Board. You can go through and set preferences for things you’re looking for in a college, and it will compile a personalized list. Next, find out how you can apply. Many colleges are available on the Common App or the Coalition Application, but others will have individual applications that can only be found on their respective websites. Then, you must fill out the application. It is best to have a copy of your transcript, SAT or ACT scores, Social Security number, counselor’s contact information, list of accolades and student resume at hand while filling them out, as this is the basic information most applications will require.

Additionally, applications will ask for a list of your extracurricular activities but don’t panic if you haven’t started your own business or founded a country. List the activities that are the most important and have had the most impact on your life. Preferably, it is best to include activities only from your high school years. When you describe the activities, make sure to give enough detail, so the admissions officers can have insight into the activity, especially if it is something new or different. Congrats! You have made it through a good portion of the application process, but there is still much more to do. It is a marathon, not a sprint, after all.

Another difficult portion of the application is the recommendations section. Many schools will ask for counselor and/or teacher recommendations. For teacher recommendations, the school will most likely specify that it must be a core teacher from your junior or senior year. If this is the case, think of one or two teachers (dependent on the college’s requirements) whose class you enjoyed and who you think will be able to accurately portray your character. When asking for a teacher recommendation, be polite and explain why you think they would write you the best recommendation. This is important: DO NOT add them as a recommender before asking them. It is common courtesy. Most recommendation forms are electronic, so you will be listing your teacher’s professional email. Then, they will be invited to write a recommendation for you. It is always a good idea to check in with them to see if they have received the email notification. Additionally, if your deadline is quickly approaching, a reminder can help. Most teachers are busy but want to help you achieve your next step. This is not to say that you should wait until the day of your deadline to ask. It is best to give teachers ample time to write a quality recommendation.

Moreover, some schools will require a recommendation from your counselor. For this recommendation, follow the procedure that your school sets. As a student at Chattahoochee High School, all seniors seeking a counselor recommendation for a college or scholarship must fill out a senior profile (a student resume) and a recommendation request form. These materials must be turned in together, and counselors are to be given at least ten school days to fulfill the request.Thus, be mindful of any deadlines the counseling office establishes. You have made it through one of the hardest parts. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The next part of most applications is sending a copy of your transcript. Again, this is on a college by college basis, so check with the institution. Most colleges require you to send it electronically, which can be done via Parchment. It is a free service that will electronically send your transcript to the colleges you select. Other colleges will require a paper copy, and this can usually be found in the counselor’s office. Additionally, check with your counselor. He/she may already plan to send it for you. Another piece of information that must be sent is your SAT or ACT scores, and these must come directly from the testing institution, either College Board or ACT. The scores are about $12 a piece to send if you did not select the colleges before you took the exam. Colleges provide their testing codes on their websites, so you can be sure that your score ends up in the right place. Additionally, you can choose to send your AP scores now, which are $15 if you did not specify to have them sent when you initially took the exam in May. Lastly, there will most likely be an application fee upwards of $50. Once you pay this, you are free to click the submit button. You did it! You hit submit and bore your heart and soul to the admissions office of your chosen colleges. Now what?

Now, you must anxiously await the results. Hopefully, you are accepted everywhere you apply, but if not, no fear. Things will fall as they may. While you wait, it is a good idea to search for scholarships, whether they are sponsored by a foundation or the school to which you applied. Websites like Chegg help filter the thousands of scholarships available to the ones that are just right for you. Additionally, it helps to stay organized. Find a way that works, so you are able to stay on top of all your deadlines, whether it is housing deposits, honors college or scholarships. Keep calm and apply on, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

 

Seniors Vote Their Ossoff

JourneySherman, Editor-in-Chief

On April 18 many seniors were seen wearing an “I’m a Georgia Voter” sticker. This is because Georgia held a sixth district special election to replace Republican congressman Tom Price, who stepped down to serve as secretary of Health and Human Services.

Democrat, Jon Ossoff, ran against 11 Republicans for the position and almost gained 50% of the voteswhich is what is needed to declare a winner. Ossoff fell short with having 48.1% of the votes while the other candidates roughly shared the other 51%. The Republican with the greatest percent, Karen Handel, garnered nearly 20% of the votes. Because none of the candidates cleared 50%, a runoff will take place June 20.  

Ossoff has made himself more accessible through countless rallies for supporters to sign up to volunteer and get the chance to meet him in person. I was lucky enough to attend his first rally in preparing for the runoff. It consisted of signing up for shifts to volunteer at one of his campaign offices. These volunteers are being asked to go door to door and advocate for Ossoff. They will also push “mail-in” voting and make you promise you won’t be out of town on June 20. Currently many of the official members of his campaign are from Gen X.

When I attended the rally this age group made up most of the population in attendance. Ossoff was eager to speak with all attendees of the rally and was much more personable than expected. He gave off a calm and engaging demeanor while making a short speech and greeting the crowd. Ossoff was more than willing to take pictures with supporters (including me) and listen to topics that concerned them.

With such a narrow margin of votes needed, it has become increasingly important for millennials to be involved. This means spreading the word regarding voter registration and voicing their opinions on issues that are important to them. Ossoff’s campaign has an increasing desire for involvement by younger people in the campaign.

RoomateMingle.com

 

CaseySabath Staff Reporter

You get into your college and put down the deposit. What’s next?

Well, finally knowing your college is so exciting. I know the first thing I did was sign up for all the “Class of ‘21” groups on Facebook. From those I got into sorority groups, and that was where I started my search. It’s weird, I’ve never checked my Instagram or my messages more than now. I would have all my friends scroll through my Instagram feed to check that nothing seems too off about me. I suddenly had to have funny captions and frequent posts, and I was giving my number and a description of myself to over a hundred people. Not only that but I found myself searching through dozens of possible roommates and going through their instagram and Facebook feeds. Not to mention the occasional accidental double click on something they posted three years ago. It’s embarrassing having to look through all their social media, but you have to do it. I would rather be thorough than end up with a roommate I have nothing in common with. We’ve all heard those horror stories and I refuse to have one of my own.

Next, all those people you followed start following you back. And soon you start getting texts late at night by random girls saying who they are and how they were creeping on you and noticed that you’re similar. Then both of us are stuck in the awkward conversation of “what are your likes and dislikes?”. I thought I was doing terrible at this awkward little dance until it was an hour into the conversation and we’re talking about watching Grey’s Anatomy while eating queso in the dorms next year. Then it’s finding out that you have mutual friends and next thing you know you’re going to have Chipotle with three different girls throughout the week and you don’t have the heart to say you don’t like Chipotle. I’m currently at the point where I’ve met some of these girls in person and my friends and family have all approved or disapproved of them.

Don’t ask me how to tell someone you don’t want to be roommates. I haven’t quite gotten to that part and I figured it would be a mutual decision. But all in all finding the perfect roommate is like finding the perfect boy…near impossible. It’s literally the same exact process as dating and I find that incredibly odd. Then again, you are finding a stranger to not only be you’re friend but also to live with you after only meeting a few times. I’m still finding the one but when a pre-law major makes you a powerpoint on why you should be roommates it’s hard to argue that. We’ll see, I still have a month or so until I have to know.

High School Never Ends

EmmaKenfield – Features Editor

It’s an overplayed, outdated fact that this generation is one unlike any other, discovering the world through 2’’ by 4’’ screen as opposed to through our own eyes. This is the inevitable truth; the world is advancing and our lives will have to adjust to such a changing culture. Because of this, though, the college experience we were so told about as children is going to be entirely new as well—something our parents cannot prepare us for.

“It doesn’t matter where you end up; in college, you will never see the people you went to high school with.” This is a phrase I heard far too often growing up, as if school was too large and vast for you to possibly cross paths with anyone you’d known prior. This is a generation built upon publicizing exactly what we are doing, at every which moment, simply so that the people we know are able to see it. This culture is unavoidable, and social media obviously allows for many more benefits than downsides, connecting us with people around the world. Because of this accessibility into each other’s lives, though, college transforms from your new beginning into you and your school’s new beginning, especially when at an in-state school.

The problem arises in this scenario: it is the first Friday night since you’ve moved into your dorm room. You are probably roommates from someone you knew from high school, acquaintances before, default friends now. You check Snapchat to see four or five MyStories of friends from high school downtown, and you want to join them; they’re whom you’ve always known, so it is easiest to adjust to college with some familiarity. Had you wanted to stick to your original plan and start over, reinvent yourself and make new friends, saying no would most likely offend those you used to know, and cause you to lose those friendships eventually. With in-state schools especially, there will most likely be 10 or 15 people you were decently good friends with in high school that you would have to deliberately separate yourself from in order to start anew, and that is not only difficult, but costly to those friendships.

There is truth to the fact that you can happily be friends with those you knew from high school in college; most people choose this route nowadays because frankly, it’s easier. The journey through college that we were so told about growing up, though, starting alone and confused with everyone else, has changed immensely because of social media’s influence on our lives.

Advice to Freshmen: How to have the best four years ever

CarolineTomczak, Seniors Editor

Dear Freshmen,

With only a little more than a semester left until May 26th, the day we all have been waiting for since freshman year is finally just around the corner. With the anticipation leading up to May, it is inevitable to look back at the great (and the not-so-great) memories of our four-year journey of high school. While I look back and remember the awkward experiences throughout high school, like not knowing where my classes are; and the great experiences, such as Friday night lights, I want to show the class of 2020 how to make the most out of your four short years at Chattahoochee.

  1. Always give 110%.

No matter what the challenge is, whether it’s getting an “A” in AP Bio or making the varsity sports team: always, always give it your all. This really comes into play right now for seniors, during the nerve racking application process and opening your letter from your dream school and seeing the words “congratulations” or “unfortunately.” You don’t want to have any regrets like, “Oh, if only I tried harder.”

  1. Be yourself.

When I was a freshman, I would always worry about what others would think, which is not the best idea. Don’t worry about whether or not you have the latest clothes or the new iPhone, just be yourself. I promise you more people will like you just for being you.

  1. Try to attend all school events.

This one is important. You are only in high school once– after high school you won’t  have the opportunity to be able to go to football games every Friday with all of your closest friends. Many seniors haven’t been to most of the school events, and really wish that they took advantage of this great opportunity earlier throughout their freshman and sophomore year. Marissa Klee (SR), stated that her favorite memory from Friday night football games, “This past year, was really the first year that I went to all of the football games and I enjoyed every second of them; I wish I would’ve went to more of them earlier throughout high school.”

  1. Be kind to all the people you meet along the way.

Yeah, I totally agree group projects are not always the best; you are assigned to work with a random group with people that you barely know, which may seem like a horrible idea. However, even though you may not be fond of a person at first, always be kind, you never know they could end up being one of your best friends.  

  1. Take risks.

If one of your goals in high school is to play on a varsity sport but you think that you won’t make the team, try out anyway. If you really like a girl and want to ask her to prom or homecoming but you’re not sure if she will say “yes,” ask her anyway. You never know the outcome until you try.

  1. It’s okay to be the “nerd”, and if you’re not that’s perfectly okay too.
  2. Have fun, but not too much fun.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking, I may sound just like your mom. Yes, but your mom is right; it is important to have the time of your life in high school and make the most out of every moment, just make sure that you are still on track for reaching all of your goals.

  1. Set goals.

Before going into freshman year, I made a list of goals that I wanted to meet by the time I graduate high school. This is a great way to be successful and it’s great to look back and see what you have accomplished.

Before you know it, it’s senior year and you’re applying to colleges, planning for the next four years of your life. These past four years have flown by and it’s important to make the most of every moment.

Sincerely, the class of 2017.