Category Archives: College

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.

 

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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.

Apply to Colleges that Apply to You

MaddieYashinsky, Sports Editor

Before the start of senior year, many will have their minds set on the university they wish to attend after graduation. Aspects of schools such as their football teams, Greek life and family legacies tend to act as driving factors in this monumental life decision. However, after the tedious process of visiting schools and further researching them, the aspects that you find most important will become evident.

Many people tend to underestimate the importance of tuition of universities, which can become rather costly. When choosing a college, especially an out-of-state school, you must be prepared to see the cost double, if not triple, that of any in-state school. Student loans provide the luxury for students to attend their desired university despite the price; the chief downside to this being the high probability of graduating college drowning in debt.

Along with the cost of a school is the distance of the school. The majority of students don’t take into consideration the limitations of going to a school far away. This means that with airfare cost and inconvenience of extensive travel, it becomes extremely hard to visit home other than on scheduled breaks or special occasions. For some, this is desired, as they wish to gain independence after graduating. For others, however, it becomes another stressful factor to take into account.

I know from talking to peers (particularly my female peers), that Greek life is a deciding factor when it comes to deciding on a school. The experience of being a part of a sorority or fraternity is strongly desired among many seniors. Personally, I fell in love with Auburn the second I stepped foot on campus. However, the Greek life there was not what I was looking for, causing me to continue my search elsewhere.

Perhaps the biggest factor when picking the perfect university is your desired major. Many students set their hearts on schools before knowing if that university even provides a well-respected program for the studies they wish to pursue. As much as student life outside of academics is incredibly important in any college experience, it is imperative that you choose a university that will enable you to be as successful as possible in your future endeavors.

The process of choosing your future school is just as exciting as it is terrifying.  As facile as it would be to pick a college based on the colors you look best in or that has the best tailgates before a football game, it is unfortunately not that simple. With the necessary research, helpful advice, and some guidance, you will surely find the university that you’ll be happy to call home for the next four years.

West Point Welcomes Smith

AshwinHaritsa

News Editor

Over Chattahoochee’s 25-year existence, many students have accomplished remarkable strides which some can only dream of. This year, Henry Smith (SR) just received his appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Ever since the fifth grade, Smith had his eyes set on attending West Point. He called it “my calling. I had always been a huge history buff. The army is the biggest military branch and is involved in every major conflict. That is what I want to be a part of.” His commitment and dedication to his country is what motivated him to accomplish this extraordinary task.

Being appointed to West Point is not something an average Joe can do. There are a lot of prerequisites. To begin, each applicant must try and receive a recommendation from either the President, someone on the Presidential cabinet or one of his congressmen; each Congressman can only write one letter. Obviously, each Senator or House Member gets hundreds of letters from students who wish to attend a military academy. Therefore, to receive the recommendation, you must not only be able to reach your congressman, but also be the best applicant in that talented pool.

After finally receiving the recommendation, Smith had to finish an entirely new application in addition to a grueling physical test. These challenging checkpoints are designed to eliminate those who are not qualified. After tough training and hard work, Smith was able to complete each of these challenges. When asked how he felt about one day fighting for his country, Smith responded, “This is the reality I have chosen. I understand where this career path will take me, and I am okay with that.” This brave quality is what makes Smith a great candidate for our military. On the day he received his appointment, he was in shock. He could not believe what had just happened: “It still hasn’t really set in. Right now, I am focused on making it through training and my first year.”

Smith is not the only student from Chattahoochee who has devoted his life to the military. Just last year, students Jack Bui and Alvaro Godoy were appointed to the United States Military Academy and the United States Air Force Academy, respectively. Current student Adam Estroff (SR) has applied to the United States Naval Academy and is still waiting on his decision. Men like these are what propels our country to be great and maintain our reputation as the most powerful military in the world.

Chattahoochee Students Rushing Towards their Future

NabeelKhan Sports Editor

College decisions represent the culmination of many students’ high school achievements. We should not always judge a book by its cover or use labels to define people, but knowing what college a person goes to often defines your image of that person. In the coming weeks, many Chattahoochee students will find out about their home for the next few years as UGA early application decisions are released. To some students, this is not a huge deal as the University of Georgia is not their first choice, but to a majority of Chattahoochee seniors, these decisions mean everything.

If you do not get in early, there is no reason to fret for too long as UGA gives applicants a second chance to submit their portfolios for admission around January. The regular decision pool is much larger, but many of the very competitive students have already been admitted, so students who were not lucky enough to receive early admission actually have a better chance in the regular pool.

Many students hope to get in early, as it helps them avoid the teacher recommendation and essay processes, but for regular admission students, these steps can be lifelines. In a wider pool where many students’ portfolios weigh about the same, regular decision hopefuls can use a teacher recommendation and a well-thought-out essay to give the college a better look at why they stand out from the rest of the crowd.

Although it is the preferred route for many students, regular decision is not for everyone. For some, such as Pavan Sastry(SR), UGA’s early action is a step towards materializing their dreams. “UGA has always been my first choice. I want nothing more than to become a UGA bulldog” stated Pavan. Applicants who get the green light early and have their heart set on Georgia are able to literally choose their new home ahead of time, as they have early access to housing choices.

As the state’s most popular school, the University of Georgia receives both a lot of love and a lot of hate, but more importantly, it receives a lot of applications. Every year, thousands of students submit their applications in hopes that they can call the University of Georgia their new home, and every year, we wish these Chattahoochee applicants good luck.

Waitlisted, or applied Regular Decision: what to do now

MarisaSnelson-Ono

Yes, the world is ending—for those who have been waitlisted, that is. For seniors who applied to their dream school and have been “waitlisted”—that fine line between “accepted” and “rejected”—the emotional toll on their already hormone-sensitive teenage minds could be devastating. The symptoms that are commonly observed during this period range from
moodiness and irritability to dramatic, soap-opera-like hysterical
outbursts and wandering like a zombie in the hallway with an expression of complete and utter hopelessness.

Then there are others who hear the term, “waitlist” for the first time when the college of their choice sends them the ultimate letter of
decision. So, for those seniors, here’s a quick definition. All colleges want an incoming freshman class that is equivalent to the particular college’s carrying capacity. Therefore, when a particular college sends out acceptance letters to those few lucky seniors, they make an estimate of their yield, or percentage of students admitted who actually plan on enrolling in the college. If their yield turns out to be less than their estimate, they select students who otherwise would not have been the college’s top choice to fill this gap. These seniors are thus, “waitlisted.”

The glum truth is that based on statistics, the chances of being accepted from a waitlist are slim. On average, colleges tend to admit around 10% of their waitlisted students. However, this number usually ranges from school to school—Pennsylvania State University, for example, admits 80% of their waitlisted students. Middlebury College, on the other hand, admits a heart-breaking 0% of those who were waitlisted.

The harsh three-word solution would be simple: just move on, but it’s understandable though, that some seniors have a hard time letting go. For those people, there are some strategies to consider in regaining your honor. The first thing that could be done is to contact the admissions office and ask for the reason why your application wasn’t accepted. Then, send any new information that might make your
application stronger. If you have retaken the SAT or ACT, the new scores could be sent in, depending on the school’s policy. You may also inform them if you have won any new additional awards.

For seniors who have applied regular decision to the schools of their choice, their fate is not as cruel. Like their early decision counterparts, they will suffer through the agonizing 3-month wait for that one letter, notifying where they will be spending the next four years of their lives. They may get waitlisted but that will most likely be in May or June. This could be either a positive or negative. Looking
on the bright side, they won’t have to tackle any more high school work while coming to terms with the idea of being waitlisted from their
favorite school. Meanwhile, being waitlisted three months before
planning on heading off to college can throw them off schedule.

Accepted, rejected, or waitlisted; anything could happen over the next three months until graduation. Whatever news college apps may bring, in the end, the result is what you make of it.

Coed Dorms: Good Idea or Destined for Trouble?

“Good Idea”

SaraEdwards editorials editor

A hot topic that has emerged in 2015 is the idea of coed roommates. First, let’s make something clear; this is not a brand new concept. Brown University, The University of Pennsylvania, Clark University and Stanford University are all on the list of colleges that allow coed roommates. Many colleges have coed buildings but they do not allow coed roommates. Georgia State University is hopping on board, and starting in the fall of 2015, coed roommates will be allowed. By allowing coed roommates, colleges are allowing a new level of comfort for students, which will further their success at the school.

I know what you’re thinking: how can being in a coed room be more comfortable than the student’s own gender? It ties into the ultimate question that’s been around since the beginning of time: can boys and girls be just friends? Some will say yes, and some will say no. Those who say yes are the ones who probably have a best friend of the opposite gender.

Another aspect to consider is the LGBT (Lesbian,Gay, Bisexual,Transgender) community. There is a stigma around non-heterosexual people. That is a whole other argument, though. When it comes down to it, a homosexual student could be more comfortable living with someone who has been a close friend, who might be the opposite gender. What about a transgender person? Does he/she identify with the gender on his/her birth certificate or what makes him/her more comfortable?

Going beyond the LGBT community, people will argue that couples will room together and chaos is bound to happen. It’s important to remember that if society is giving college students the responsibility of choosing a major that could shape their lives forever, then students are responsible enough to choose their own roommates. A student can potentially have a roommate horror story whether the room is all one gender or both genders are present.

Wouldn’t living in a room with the other gender be awkward or uncomfortable? General rule of thumb: it’s only awkward if you make it awkward. The college will not randomly match a male and female student unless the student specifically says to do so. If you don’t want a coed dorm room, then don’t put a check next to the coed option on your housing application.

 

“Destined For Trouble”

PaulBurke staff reporter

College is an experience to be shared with both genders: a dorm room is not.

When I wake up in the morning, I might have a pair of boxers and a dingy t-shirt on. This is not the proper attire to be seen by the opposite gender unless it’s a significant other. Someone of the opposite gender cannot be exposed to what an average college kid will be walking around in during the early morning and late evening.

While on the topic of significant others, imagine the love of your life having a male/female roommate. There are issues with that on so many levels. The jealousy that would be created would be through the roof, almost no trust between the two, and on the flip side of the argument, there would be a serious temptation to break the trust of loyalty.

Routines and habits are completely gender determined. Girls generally have a huge stash of makeup, hair products and typically take longer to prepare for the day compared to men. Guys have a brush and shampoo and usually take less than 10 minutes to complete their morning tasks. This time difference and product difference is too much to overcome and would cause serious issues, especially within the cramped quarters of a college dorm.

Dorm rooms are both a living space and social cave of the people living there. Having friends over is an inevitable portion of college life, and girls and guys have unique friend groups. When a guy wants to have a bro night, but the girl of the dorm is more interested in book club with her friends, there is going to be a conflict. This is not even a conflict that can be resolved with reason or compromise, it will remain a conflict every week.

This is only a small sample of the reasons that coed dorms will be unsuccessful in colleges. Living with the opposite gender can only work successfully if you are in an intimate relationship with the partner. Keep dorms separated, plain and simple.