The student news site of Homestead High School in Mequon, Wisconsin.

The Highlander Online

The student news site of Homestead High School in Mequon, Wisconsin.

The Highlander Online

The student news site of Homestead High School in Mequon, Wisconsin.

The Highlander Online

Students anticipate college

Post-high school changes can bring both excitement and anxiety
Hear where members of the Class of 2024 are headed after high school.

Ryan Bennett paces back and forth across the brightly lit room, reciting over and over again her monologues in her head. Unable to contain her nervous energy, Bennett attempts to clear her head and starts doing jumping jacks in the center of the waiting room. After a few moments, she notices there is a young man standing there, watching awkwardly.

“They’re ready for you,” he tells her.

Bennett takes a deep breath and follows him into the audition room.

At home, Leah McGowan sits on her bed, laptop propped up on her lap as she reads over her application again. She has tweaked it so many times and knows that it is good, but she still feels terrified. McGowan has always known that she was going to attend college and never considered any other options. But still, in the back of her mind, a small voice whispers doubts. McGowan shakes off the worry and clicks the submit button.

Now begins the worst part of the college experience: the waiting.

The last couple months have been difficult for the seniors. After spending hours filling out application after application and months waiting for responses, the students must actually make a decision on where to go and what to study. For some, like McGowan, the decision was simple.

“It was really easy for me because I actually shadowed my dad a few times. He’s a pathologist’s assistant and he showed me the easiest way to go into the field which is through biology, which is what I am going to study. I picked my school because it is really cheap and close enough where I can come home for a weekend,” McGowan said.

For others, like Bennet, the future is less certain.

“My mom actually pressured me into doing [just] theatre instead of theatre as a double major. I really wanted to double major so I could go to law school after undergrad. She told me to just focus on acting and see if everything works out. I think I’ll do a minor in something political or economics based but I have no idea” Bennett said.

Like everyone else facing such a major life change, both girls have worries. Bennett is most nervous for her class load.

“I’m worried about not taking enough academics my first two years because the BFA (Bachelors of Fine Arts) is very intense. Only 16-22 people get an offer a year so it is very competitive. I have classes every day from 10-4 so it will take up a lot of my time. Having other academics is very important to me so I will have to do them in the morning,” Bennett said.

College is a big change from high school, and that scares McGowan.

“I think what worries me the most is just the big switch. Obviously, a lot of things are going to be different. Living two hours from home, having none of my friends there. Going from during the summer hanging out with my friends every day to now studying in a room that’s not mine,” McGowan stated.

College applications are long and stressful but the counseling department helps every step of the way. Lauren Schaefer, counselor, guides her students through the process.

Schaefer said, “The first thing that really kicks off college application season for us is in August of every year, we offer several college application workshops that students can come in and attend here at the high school. When the common app opens, a lot of students want to get started but aren’t sure where to start. Workshops are a great way to make sure students are on track. For the rest of the fall we work individually with students helping with their applications. In the winter, once you finish college apps, it’s a good time to launch into the scholarship application process. We give lots of recommendations about where to look and how to apply.”

With application season drawing to a close and students making their final decisions, Schaefer reminds them, “The most important thing is to have a good summer and relax. Graduation is bittersweet because you’re saying goodbye to this phase of your life. Take the opportunity to celebrate with your family and friends. Spend time with your friends because it gets harder once everyone goes their separate ways.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Maya Graupe
Maya Graupe, Staffer
Maya Graupe is a senior at Homestead High School. She is an active member of the Drama Club and loves being involved in plays. When not at school, she loves reading, traveling and cooking. She plans on studying computer engineering and/or computer science in college, although she is not decided where. She is interested in photography and wants to develop her skills further.

Comments (0)

All The Highlander Online Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *