Category Archives: Seniors

Everything You Need to Know About Zell Miller and HOPE Scholarships

LydiaZermuehlen, Editorials Editor

As acceptances from colleges start to roll in, every senior in Georgia has the same question to contemplate: Should I stay in-state? The state of Georgia makes this a difficult question to answer because they have sweetened the pot with the Zell Miller and HOPE Scholarships.

But, are the Zell Miller or HOPE Scholarships a good enough reason to stay? Since I will personally apply for the Zell Miller Scholarship, I wanted to do some more digging.

For years, and I specifically mean from freshman year to junior year, I have heard that the Zell Miller Scholarship is a full-tuition scholarship and that the HOPE covers 80 percent of tuition. Apparently times have changed, because now, for some schools, Zell doesn’t even cover half of tuition. In fact, both scholarships now apply at an hourly rate, which means both scholarships only covers a certain amount for how many classes you take. Three credit hours are equal to taking one full course, and the max amount of hours these scholarships cover is fifteen hours, or five classes per semester. Still, when I say “cover” I do not mean “completely cover,” because both scholarships only give so much now.

If you are a senior in Georgia and are dreaming of starting next fall at the University of Georgia (UGA), make sure you double check your finances, cause neither Zell nor HOPE cover as much as you thought. If you apply for the Zell Miller Scholarship and you are taking five classes, you will only receive $4,776. Since in-state tuition is $11,622, you still have to pay $6,846, not to mention room and board, books, and the meal plan on top of that. And UGA is a public school, so the numbers are even worse for private schools.

The award amounts that the Zell Miller and HOPE Scholarships give for each school is on the GAfutures website. Check the numbers and compare them to other scholarships from out-of-state schools. Your research now can save you from being thousands of dollars in debt in the future. Don’t fall for the prestige of the college or for the information you’ve heard about the Zell Miller and HOPE Scholarships from the past.  


Moving from Senior to Freshman: Continued

LydiaZermuehlen, Editorials Editor

The jump from high school to college is bound to come with some unexpected shocks. My sister, a current college freshman and Alpharetta High alumni, has been through many shocks herself and was kind enough to share her experiences at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Something many high school seniors fret about is going into a new environment with practically no friends. I was tempted to ask Audrey how she handled this stressor, and she merely commented that, “every time I met someone new at college, we automatically exchanged numbers and social medias. Here people actually put in a lot of effort to get to know each other…To be honest, I already have more friends here at college than I ever did in high school.”

Sounds like an amazing community! This may be something unique for Audrey and other students at smaller colleges, but most colleges value community, so this may be more common than believed. But while you are making those new friends, you may start to lose touch with the old. When I asked Audrey what she missed most from high school, she disclosed, “I miss my friends from high school. After you graduate you do not keep in touch as much and may never see some of them  again.”

While colleges hype up the idea of their super close-knit communities, they also create other expectations. Whether it is the quality of the food, Greek life or professors, there are certain things students expect from their college. Audrey told me her expectations and let downs saying, “I thought that I’d be able to have more down time in college, but sometimes I am even busier than I was in high school…In three weeks we will be required to work on film sets and crew 12 hours a day on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.”

Looks like the stress doesn’t go away when you step onto the college campus. But the workload spreads itself out according to Audrey: “the workload is different for every class and it also depends on your professor. Some of my friends are taking the same classes, but have different professors that either give more or less homework than others…Some classes will have homework assignments and then the midterm or final and that’s it.”

After receiving a healthy dose of fear from her words, I decided to ask her some less anxiety-inducing questions. I was curious if the food at college was any better than that served at high school. The good news is that the food is great, the bad news is that it is so good “you have to have some will power while being in the cafeteria or you will gain that freshman fifteen.” But it is a great time to meet up with friends and catch up; Audrey noted, “a lot of us make plans to meet up for breakfast and lunch, so that no one has to eat alone. Our meals are not placed on a set schedule. You eat when you can eat.” No scheduled meals and no more third period lunch…sounds like a good deal.

Since Audrey is attending a competitive art school, I wanted to know more about her schedule. They don’t have the usual balance of classes like a liberal arts college, and they rely more heavily on art classes. The unique makeup of Audrey’s class schedule consists of nine classes: one core class and eight film classes. If anyone is interested in getting a Bachelor of Arts in Filmmaking, expect to be immediately immersed in film knowledge.

High school is a very different environment than that found on a college campus. Audrey’s words assure me she is adjusting with some struggles, but she is having the time of her life.

How to get a Recommendation Letter

NicRasool, Features and News Editor

The college application – an effective, albeit stressful, method for colleges to understand you as a student. One of the most important aspects of the application is the recommendation letter, as they humanize students and let colleges review applicants in terms of how a they would affect the campus and its community.

But how should you go about asking for a letter?

There are a two main types of recommendation letters that a student can obtain: the counselor letter and the teacher letter. However, the paths to get either of these letters are relatively different.

The Counselor Recommendation:

The Counseling Department has revamped their system for obtaining recommendation letters.  It previously involved a large amount of paperwork, having students fill out request forms for a different form in order to fill out their senior profile so that they can submit the profile to their counselor and then get their counselors to finally start the recommendation letter. Starting this year, however, they have attempted to streamline their process by moving things to Google Classroom. All of the counselors now have a Google Classroom where the required paperwork, like your senior profile, can be found.

Now, instead of handling a large amount of paper, you simply have to download the senior profile, fill it out on your own time and then turn it into your respective counselor’s Google Classroom. Everything is event posted in order with titles such as “Step 1: Senior Profile” so it should be relatively simple to follow all necessary guidelines.

After submitting your senior profile, you have to move on to Step 2 – the actual request form. It’s a Google Form and is extremely straightforward, and if you’re applying through the Common Application or Coalition Application, the counselors will even upload your transcript for you. Unless one of your schools does not use either of these applications, you can skip the Parchment request.

So, you’re finally done, you’ve filled out your profile, turned everything in perfectly, now what? Well, you wait. The counselors receive each request and they are all listed out based on who turned in the request first, so it’s a first come first served basis. All you really can do is wait.

The Teacher Recommendation:

The teacher recommendation is a way for colleges to learn more about you as a person and about you in the classroom. Due to the circumstances of the teacher recommendation, you are far better off asking a teacher who has known you for more than just your senior year.

When deciding on which teacher to ask, however,  your main focus should be what your college actually wants. Some might specifically ask for a recommendation letter from a humanities teacher whereas others may ask for a letter from science or math teacher, and others may ask for multiple recommendation letters from teachers of multiple different subjects. Basically, aside from actually finding a teacher who knows you well, you will always have to consider your application requirements.

Asking, however, is a slightly different experience that mainly boils down to: don’t be entitled or asinine when you ask your teacher for what is basically a favor. Keep in mind that your teachers are in no way obligated to write you a letter of recommendation.

So, your favorite teacher, who knows you the best, is willing to write you a recommendation letter, now what? Well, now all that can be done is wait. You can ask them if they got the email to write the letter, or tell them when you need the letter to be done, but other than that there isn’t much students can do. If something changes, you should inform your teacher as soon as you can so they don’t end up putting time and effort into a letter you didn’t even need.

Can Popularity Score You a Superlative?

BridgetHoffmann, Staff Reporter

Every year the seniors in yearbook establish a voting process to vote for people based off of popularity, campaigning and appearance. Some have waited since freshman year to be nominated but others could not care less. At Chattahoochee, it has become a tradition to pick one boy and one girl for each superlative. It has become a part of our senior year and probably always will be.

Some superlatives, such as “Biggest Brain”, are easily voted on. More biased superlatives like “Best All Around” are voted for by your friend group. Obviously, the more friends you have the more votes you are likely to receive. Campaigning is a huge part of winning the superlative you want, and students often walk around begging classmates to vote for them whether they know who they are or not.

The senior yearbook members review previous superlatives to pick the ones best fit for the current senior class. They make a finalized list with old and some new superlatives and send out a nomination form. Every senior chooses one boy and one girl for each superlative. From those nominations the top five move on to the second nomination.

“The juniors do the tallying and cheating is monitored very closely,” Mia Chakroun explains. This process is intended to prevent students from suspecting the nominations are rigged.

After the final tallies, the winners are announced on Instagram. They were announced in the middle of fourth period on Sept. 19. It is safe to say after the announcement there were many disappointed faces in the hallways due to not winning the superlative desired.

Allie Cyr (SR), was never a huge fan of superlatives and never cared for the drama it brought on each year. Cyr said, “It’s sad to see our grade fight over something so small that will not matter once we have all graduated. It is also clear that the well known male and female students win each year.” A recurring theme every year is the “cool kids” or popular, attractive students win superlatives. Cyr thought it was a way of labeling and judging students, which we are taught from elementary school not to do. Cyr felt that she did not want to leave high school being recognized as one thing, but that she was  more than one category or theme.

Yearbook and Chattahoochee High School have no plans of ending the senior superlatives anytime soon. It has always been a tradition and most likely always will be.

Here come the leaves

ClaireBunnell, Staff Reporter

This is it seniors! This is the last and final year of high school. This year is the time where you are given more freedom, a flexible schedule and faced with the excitement that comes with graduating. Chattahoochee High School has been our home for four years, but it is now the time to create a new home for ourselves where we can pursue the rest of our life.

There are so many different emotions that come with being a senior. Everyone is eager to start a new chapter of their life not realizing that this is it. This is our our final chapter of high school together. There will no longer be those 5-minute chats with your besties in the halls or the occasional smile you give to your other classmates.Our life has consisted of school with the majority of the same people, which can make saying goodbye very difficult. We have all developed a routine in seeing the same people every single day, but after high school, it won’t be like that anymore.

Aside from all the sappy emotions that come with leaving high school, there is also a sense of enthusiasm that comes along with it. Many seniors like Samantha Podhouser (SR) are excited to be able to “experience the real world, meet new people and set goals for themselves.” It could be a great experience meeting new people and expanding friend groups considering we’ve all been with the same people for four years. However, Ansley Parks (SR) also stated that she can’t wait to start living on her own and providing for herself, she states that “all the hard work I’ve put in for four years will finally pay off.” Iman Aytac (SR) is thrilled to follow and pursue his dreams of stardom. While unlike most students, Christian Alvarado (SR) is flabbergasted at the thought of having to provide for himself and not being able to rely on his parents anymore.

High school treated us well, class of 2019, but it’s our time to move on to be successful individuals. High school has given us a place to grow, learn and make connections with our best friends. However, college has a lot in store for the class of 2019. Chattahoochee High School will always be our first home, but seasons change, and it’s time to start a new, fresh start. Senior year comes with a few goodbyes, but a lot more hellos.

Great Grad Gifts

YunaLee, Staff Reporter

Graduation is only weeks away – meaning all things grad parties and grad gifts! It’s a huge milestone in our lives, and we deserve the celebration. Trying to make the perfect grad party can be difficult because we want to make it better than so and so’s, and trying to find the perfect grad gift can be a harder task than trying to ace a test we haven’t studied for or actually coming to school. So here are some ideas to make our last moments as Chattahoochee High School seniors memorable and fun!  Some of these projects/ ideas have links on how to make them, so make sure you check them out if you want to save some money and DIY them!


Grad Party ideas:

  • Try a cotton candy bar
  • No photobooth? What are you doing?????
  • A huge chalkboard or corkboard to write/post messages of well wishes
  • 2018 balloons are a must.
  • “Through the grades” garland with pictures of you and your friends from kindergarten to senior year
  • For party favors, make a cute college survival kit
  • Starch bar’s with potato chips, french fries, and hash browns are the next big thing


Maybe you’re not hosting a grad party, but you’ll probably attend a couple so here are some grad gift ideas!

  • Money lei –DIY Money Lei! – YouTube
  • A small care package that remind them of home for college if they are going out of state
  • Meaningful photo album/ frame with handwritten notes
  • College gear for the college they will be attending
  • A shower caddy is essential to the dorm experience


Ultimately, personalized graduation parties and gifts make it special and meaningful to you so try thinking about the good things from the past four years of highschool! Oh, and best of luck to the class of 2018!

Roommate Roulette

GraceSassaman & NadiaDowlatkhah, Staff Reporters

Most first-year college students who have to live on campus face the dilemma of choosing a roommate. It seems like the easy way out is to choose your best friend as your future roommate, but many graduates warn against this. Still, others say that going random is basically just a year-long blind date, and we all know how bad those can turn out.

Let’s examine the worst possible outcomes of choosing a roommate. Ask most people and they’d answer something along the lines of uncleanliness. Perhaps their roommate is too loud, annoying, keeps odd hours and parties too much. Maybe it can all be chalked up to incompatible personalities. Now, how many of these traits can you gauge through a few cursory conversations? That’s right, absolutely none. People can misrepresent themselves, and they certainly will if they believe you’re the ideal roommate, whether or not they are.

So, essentially, unless you’re rooming with a friend you’ve known for a long time and can bully into keeping the room clean or being quiet, you know very little about your selected roommate. You can schedule a hangout, but the facts you’ll learn about your future roomie are frankly irrelevant. You can get generic answers to general questions that most people will answer the same way anyway. Sure, it may be important for you to know their intended major, but that’s not exclusive information that you’re getting. You’re just getting that knowledge earlier than someone who opts for a randomly selected roommate.

It’s established that the only possible advantage of selecting a roommate based on a few characteristics they’ve chosen to represent themselves with is finding a roommate with a similar taste in decor. Now, let’s take a look at the various and titillating advantages of going random.

Really, if you’re going random, just tack on some more exhilaration and nail-biting suspense in the summertime lull before freshman year. You’re essentially starting over: new school, new friends, new classes. So start the first step of your adulthood with a new outlook too! Don’t try to exercise control in a lame attempt to soothe anxiety when you truly have very little power over the situation. Whether you and your roommate end up being best friends or totally incompatible isn’t something you can inherently decide. The same goes for life in general. Trying to control situations that are out of your control is futile. Instead, you can approach the outcome with optimism and take things in stride. That will determine your experience.

The difference between opting for a random roommate and essentially choosing a random roommate is peace of mind, which is personally a feeling long forgotten and, frankly, no longer chased.