Category Archives: Seniors

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.

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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!

Defining Bittersweet

OliviaErickson, Editor-in-Chief

As the end of the school year approaches, the whirlwind of emotions that accompany this transition comes with it. For many seniors, high school was just a stage in their lives and leaving it conjures nothing more than a sigh of relief. These seniors probably only feel pure happiness regarding the end of their high school career. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there may be a few sad souls out there who don’t have much to look forward to after high school and only feel sadness about leaving. However, most of us, including myself, fall somewhere in the middle about this big change, and we call this feeling bittersweet.

Bittersweet is a word commonly thrown around during these last few weeks of the school year. Although both Merriam Webster and I know what bittersweet literally means (pleasure accompanied by suffering or regret), I feel as though the word carries with it much more emotion than the literal definition implies.  

The sweet feelings that swirl around when we think of leaving high school are the more prominent ones; many of us get to go to college, escape the watchful eye of our parents, meet new people and experience new things. What’s harder to pin down, and which most people avoid thinking about, is the bitter feelings that accompany this transition.

Looking around my lunch table–at the laughing faces of my friends–the ones that have been surrounding me for the past seven years, and knowing that in a year’s time most of us won’t even talk, that is bitter.

Saying goodbye to my favorite teachers, not necessarily the ones that taught me everything in the curriculum, but the ones that made their classrooms feel like a safe place, the ones that asked me what was wrong when I had puffy eyes and, most importantly, the ones that I hope to be like when I’m a full-blown adult one day,  that is bitter.

 

On the first week of my freshman year, a certain teacher instructed us to “write a letter to yourself,” to be kept, but not read, by him until the end of the year. I still have that letter, hidden in the back corner of my sock drawer. A few weeks ago, I read that letter for the first time in a year or two. I read what freshman-me hoped for, what freshman-me desired and what freshman-me wanted out of her high school experience.

I consider the things in that letter that I did achieve – that is sweet.

But when I think about where I did all those things, where I became the person I am today, and I realize I have to leave the place that has fostered so much growth- that is bitter.

Maybe for those who don’t feel as much as I do, their feelings about leaving high school are not this complex. But now, when I say that leaving the place I’ve called home for the past four years is bittersweet, you’ll know I don’t simply mean that it’s exciting with a tinge of sadness. What I really mean is that it’s absolutely heartbreaking, but that I’m thankful it hurts this much, because that means I did it right.

Dispelling the Myths of High School

CarolineKurzawa, Staff Reporter

As senior year comes to a close, I have come to realize how much of what I believed about high school turned out to be a myth, whether it was about the academic or social aspects. Below, I have laid out what I believe to be the top ten high school myths.

You have more freedom in high school.

While this may be partly true, you are still viewed as a child who needs guidance and discipline, so don’t get your hopes up about high school being a free for all. It’s still a structured learning environment.

Your friend group will stay together forever.

This can be true, but more often than not, people drift apart once they begin taking different classes or become interested in other things.

It’s the best time of your life.

High school has some highlights, but it’s a stepping stone for another part of your life. It’s there to transition you to the next step, whether it’s college, a job or joining the military. The best parts of your life will probably happen after high school.

High school grades determine your college choices.

Yes, how well you do in school matters, but it is not the deciding factor as to whether or not you will attend your dream school. Most of the time your extracurriculars and personal essays also matter a great deal.

Every grade matters.

No, they don’t. This is not to say that you shouldn’t try to maintain good grades. It simply means that maybe not doing as well as you wanted to on a quiz or a test is okay now and then. It tells you what you need to work on.

The teachers want you to fail.

It’s the exact opposite. It’s their job to see you succeed. It’s what they want the most. Sure, some teachers are harder to approach than others if you’re looking for extra help, but they still want the best for you.

You’ll miss it when you graduate.

Most likely, no. You won’t miss it because you are in the next step of your life. High school did what it could for you, and you just won’t miss the lockers or smell of teenage stink.

There aren’t cliques.

Cliques are unavoidable, but sometimes they’re not a bad thing. A lot of the time, a clique is a group of friends who have either known each other for a long time or have bonded over a common interest.

It’s about the same workload you’re already used to.

One thing I was definitely not ready for when I started high school was the amount of work, and not just homework, but projects and class work too. I don’t know why no one tells you how much work high school can be, but it’s a bunch, especially if you are taking an honors or AP class.

It’s the worst.

No, it’s not the worst. Sure, there are some things that are not the most fun, but for the most part, most people will find either a class or an extracurricular that excites them and makes them want to wake up in the morning. The hard part is figuring out what that is because without something to be passionate about, high school can be four, long years of waiting.

 

It’s Garbage Day!

GraceSassaman, Staff Reporter

Minimalism is not a radical, unachievable lifestyle. Minimalists can’t usually fit all of their belongings into a single backpack; they can own furniture, full bookshelves, technology and more than a week’s worth of clothing. A key ingredient to minimalism is deciding which of your belongings are necessities and which are not.

This is especially relevant to seniors who will shortly be sharing a crowded dorm with another person. Whether you like it or not, you won’t be able to bring everything you own to college, and your parents probably don’t want to keep your clutter stored away either.

Many people are dismissive of the idea of minimalism and are hesitant to cut down so drastically, but you can start simply. A beginner’s tip is to throw away duplicates. Do you really need a hairbrush for your bathroom, one for your car and another for your purse? Throw those boys away.

Another way to slowly transition into a simpler lifestyle is by being more mindful with your purchases. It’s easy to fall for the convenience and inexpensiveness of those sweaters encountered at the mall, but before you buy another mediocre item, remember that the cheap polyester blend unravels after two washes. If you just save your money for a little bit longer, you can buy the perfect piece that you love. Minimalism is about owning solely the things that you treasure. If you truly think you treasure everything you own, then you can keep all your stuff.

Of course, everyone’s most prized possessions are different. But when you start cutting down, it’s easier to get rid of more. Most people are willing to donate a pile of clothes every year, especially seasonal ones. Maybe you don’t really need that Christmas sweater just in case you’re invited to a tacky sweater party. Just-in-case possessions are great to feel secure, but they usually just collect dust. But who knows? Maybe you will need that lone sock, just in case its long-lost match rolls out of the dryer in a few years.

Not only will minimizing simplify your living space, but it will also encourage you be more thankful for what you have. The goal is not to own the bare necessities for survival; it’s to keep only the belongings that add value to your life–which is a different amount for different people. It is liberating to cut down on possessions. There’s no wrong way to downsize. It’ll make it easier to clean your future dorm and save you money from mindless purchases in the long run.

In My Life – The Story of Senior Year

AndrewSearles – Staff Reporter

As the sun rose peacefully from the eastern horizon, his alarm erupted into a violent commotion. Groaning, Paul rolled over and smashed the snooze button. “It’s too cold for all this,” he uttered, falling deeper and deeper back into sleep with each word.

 

The door is smashed open. “What are you still doing in bed?”

“I’m sorry, mother. I’m getting up.”

“You know you have important things to do! You do want to graduate, don’t you?”

“Of course, mother.”

 

He pulls into the parking lot, finds an empty spot, turns off the engine, locks the car and walks into class. He is 15 minutes late, but the rows that would normally be filled with students are barren. Only one other person is in the room.

 

“Glad you could make it, Paul. I take it you haven’t heard what your final project will be?”

“No, ma’am.”

“Well, Paul, it’s simple enough. I want you to get out of my room. Oh, and don’t come back.”

“Excuse me? Have I done something to upset you?”

“No, no. This is just the most productive thing you could be doing with your time. There’s nothing for you here. Just go. Don’t look back. We wouldn’t want you turning into a pillar of salt.”

 

And with that he was off. He was freed, and by the very hands of his keeper. He looked down at his shirt, saw the Red Sox logo and was reminded of the freedom he felt being in New England. No taxation without representation? he thought. How about “No education without new information.” He chuckled and rode off towards the sun.

 

But wait here just a minute. This ain’t no cowboy movie! This is real life. This is senior year. Learn to accept it. Learn to tolerate it. Learn to live a little bit. Learn to love it.

 

This is the way the world ends.

This is the way the world ends.

This is the way  the world ends.

Not with a bang, but with an absence.

 

Searles out. Drops mic, walks away.