Category Archives: College

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.

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Roommate Must-Haves

CarolineKurzawa, Staff Reporter

You’ve done it! You have conquered the college application process and decided where you are going to attend school next fall, but now, the real challenge begins: finding a roommate. You find yourself wondering, “What do I want in a roommate?” Fortunately, I have laid out some of the traits you should consider when looking for a roommate.

Common interests:

Once you find someone that may make a good roommate, take a look at their profile. If some of their interests align with yours, send them a message. If you see that they are completely different from you, this may not be the best choice for a roommate. However, you never know until you get to know them, so send them a message if something about their profile peaks your interest.

Responsive:

Once you begin messaging someone, take note of how often you have to be the one to start the conversation and how often they respond to you. This is not a huge factor because some people just don’t really text. However, if you see that you are always having to start the conversation or that your potential roommate rarely replies or replies with one-word answers, you may want to start messaging other people to see if you click more with their personalities.

Agreeable:

When you are further along in talking with a potential roommate, start asking them questions about dorms where they may want to live and offer your preferences. See how flexible they are when presented with someone else’s opinion. If there is a discussion and your thoughts are considered, this is a good sign. If there is no discussion and your thoughts are disregarded, this roommate may not be the best fit.

Academics:

Ask your potential roommate what their studying style is. You may find that they could be a great study partner, or you may see that their study preferences are different from yours. The only red flag in this situation would be if they said that they were not all that into studying, and college is just a time to have fun. If you are a very serious student, having a more laid back roommate may not be for you.

Social:

Everyone has a different comfort level when it comes to being social. If you are more introverted, it would behoove you to not room with someone who is overly social. Although, you may be looking for someone to push you out of your comfort zone. This can be tricky. Often times, it is safest to room with someone who is as social as you are.

Cleanliness:

Make sure your potential roommate understands your expectations for how clean the room should be, whether you like it extremely neat or don’t care if it’s a little messy. This is very important to communicate to each other, so you can have accurate expectations of cleanliness before rooming together.

These are just some of things to consider when looking for a roommate. While you may have specific things you want in a roommate (athlete, specific major, etc. ), this is a solid list. Additionally, remember that even if you and your roommates are not the best of friends, the two of you will be going through some of the same experiences and will be able to help each other through them.

 

#TextMeBackJessica

HannahKornegay, Features Editor

*No names have been changed. Jessica actually won’t text me back.*

My roommate hates me.

As I type this article, I’m sure she is emailing every housing representative and pleading for a new room assignment. I’m not exactly sure what I did to offend her, but in every conversation we’ve had, she’s evaded answering any questions that would allow me to get to know her or simply hasn’t responded to the text message at all.

It was made very clear upon our first interaction that our personalities were not similar. To me, she appeared soft spoken and quiet while my personality borders on outgoing and periodically manic. My mother warned me to pick a roommate beforehand, but now that I haven’t listened and officially regret it, here are a few things that I’ll have to do to coax Jessica into liking me.

Be Myself: Being yourself, is always the best path to take, but I was myself with Jessica and she won’t text me back.

Pinterest Boards: I texted Jessica a link to a Pinterest Board I created so that she could get a sense of my style in dorm decorations. She logged in and has not made any additions.

Orientation: The college that I will be attending has hosted three different orientations that would provide the perfect opportunity for prospective roommates to meet one another. I asked

Jessica if she wanted to meet up at one of them so she could put a face to the name (even though I told her she could follow me on both Instagram and Snapchat), but she declined.

From my perspective, it seems as if my entire college experience is dependent on this first relationship. This roommate, whether it be Jessica or someone else, is who I am going to be sharing a living space with and it would be more than convenient if we were best friends. But that’s an unrealistic expectation. It would be nice, yes, if we met and ran slow motion into one another’s arms, and I realized that my whole life had been incomplete without her–but the probability of that happening is microscopic. I have been assured by many people who have endured the college experience, that it’s okay if you and your roommate aren’t best friends. There’s an entire college full of people who will be more than happy to be your slow-mo bff.

Update: I wrote this article on April 23. In an attempt to reach Jessica one last time, I texted her again on April 24th, she did not respond. Text me back Jessica.

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.

 

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.