The Future We Dread

Daniella Rivera, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Graduating only to go back to school is a future many of us dread, but we look forward to it all the same. Seniors are counting down the days to the last day of school when we should be counting down the days to deadlines for college applications. Consider these important factors as advice when getting ready for college.

College choice:

College choice is a hard one for seniors to wrap their heads around. Many seniors leave it until a week before December to figure out what top colleges they would prefer to go to. This hurts them because by then many colleges have already closed deadlines to apply for honors and leadership programs before then.

College Tours:

Try taking a college tour. Seniors go off of an instinct that they should go to a certain college or university because either everyone chooses to go there or it seems like a ‘good’ school. Getting a feel for the campus life by visiting can completely change or confirm your first assumption. Even in November, there are numerous opportunities to sign up. Don’t get stuck at a school that you don’t like when you had the chance to figure this out earlier. Don’t be close minded. “Leave the door open, go to the college you want to go to, it’s not just the amount of money that’s involved,” says counselor Norm Coughran.


Apply for FAFSA. “It’s not just based on parents income, it’s based on a lot of things, [including] where you are going to school, because some schools are more expensive than others, and [it also depends on] how many are in the family going to college. There’s a lot of factors,” says Coughran. If you are going to a college with an expensive tuition you are more likely to get money from FAFSA, than if you applied for a less expensive school. Same goes for the amount of family members attending college. If you have an older sibling in college you are more likely to get money from FAFSA because there will now be two kids from your family going to college rather than one.

Bother the College Advisors:

Bug the college. Send emails to college coordinators about questions you have, when you can tour, how to set up a plan, etc. This will help get your name to the admissions board.The more they see your name, the more they will see that you are interested, and the more money they will consider giving you.


“Don’t get ‘senioritis’ and fail to maintain your good grades,” says Alicia Summers Copper Hills’ scholarship coordinator. A lot of students get caught up with the slogan that “senior year is the easiest year,” but this mindset just leads them to lower grades. Don’t settle for less or try to find the loophole through assignments and tests. Stay on top of your workload and be productive with your time. You will find that you will spend less time studying for a retake and therefore have more time to spare.

Communicate with your Counselors:

Talk to your counselor. Students always have the chance to hear insight from adults but often don’t take this advantage seriously. Your counselor can help set up a college plan and show you the secrets to earning money. Ask them for the scholarships packet and they will hand you pages full of financial options for incoming freshman. Many of these scholarships go unapplied because many students, across the state, don’t know about them.

Narrow down your Majors:

If you haven’t decided on your major, try looking up a majors survey to see where you could fit in. Ask around. Ask family and friends what their parents do for a living. Students have it embedded in their minds that the only careers in the world are doctors, lawyers, engineers, cosmetologists, teachers, etc. There are so many different career options that go beyond the standard list. You might find one by just doing a little more research.


If you know your major, apply for scholarships in that field. Go to the the college website and look under the department major for incoming freshman scholarships. Lots of students don’t know what major they want to go into their first year of college, so many of the scholarships for specific majors go unapplied.

Deadlines are creeping up on us faster than the ACT in February; with many deadlines near the beginning of December. Start getting on the college train and get ready to carry backpacks that are heavier than your student tuition.  After all, applying for college is only a look into the future, and senior year goes by fast, so get ahead while you can.