Highstakes: Finalizing the college process

Each year the Chronicle follows the paths of four seniors through their college processes. Their identities are kept anonymous until the final issue.

The Artist:

Blair* spent a month in Dublin, Ireland studying acting at Trinity College. Blair recorded various types of songs at the studio, such as Irish Folk songs.
She plans to attend a conservatory or a drama conservatory attached to a liberal arts college and hopes to major in drama.
“I would like to act 24/7 if that’s possible, but it’s a hard career to go in to, so I would have to do things on the side, but the goal is to act all of the time, “ Blair said.

She is looking at schools on the East Coast and in the British Isles, such as The Juilliard School in New York and The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

“I like the weather over there better, and I just think that I learn better in that environment,” Blair said. “I feel like the schools in the British Isles and the East Coast will give me more of what I need to become a better actor.”

Blair overall is pretty stressed about the college process. She plans on applying to 12 different colleges and does not have a first choice.
“I just want to apply regular decision because if I apply early decision somewhere, then I might be missing out on other opportunities,” Blair said.

While Blair has completed most of her Common Application, she still has to practice her monologues, supplements and auditions to go along with her applications.

Blair said that her parents have been supportive of her throughout her college application process so far.

“They want me to do well, and they don’t want to see me fail,” Blair said. ‘They are very pushy to get it done, but it’s all good.”

Blair also plans to audition for the school musical, “Company,” in the fall, and while she wants to audition for “As You Like It” in the winter, she does not know if she will be able to, due to auditions that she may attend for international schools.

The Athlete:

Summer* spent the summer working at a film production studio and as a camp counselor at Perfect Day Surf Camp. Although Summer is not really a surfer, she worked at the beach taking care of campers all day.

“It was fun,” Summre said. “I loved it. It was way better than sitting in an office all day.”

In order to stay healthy and injury-free for her track season this coming year, Summer limited herself to running and pole-vaulting four times a week. She has been communicating with various coaches from Division III schools over the phone and via email. Summer hopes to run in college.

“I can’t imagine my life without running,” Summer said. “I really hope to get recruited. That’s the goal.”

Summer hopes to attend a four-year traditional college that is not in an urban setting and that has a very enclosed campus.
“I was hoping to look more into the liberal arts colleges, either liberal arts, D3 or D1,” Summer said.
Summer has toured various colleges on the East Coast and in the Midwest.

“I am going to be honest: I don’t have a first choice,” Summer said. “I am just going to reach for Princeton then see where I land.”
Summer is currently focusing on raising her test scores. She has taken both the SAT and the ACT, but plans on retaking them this fall. She also intends to work more on her Common Application, which she has started but has not completed.

Summer felt quite pressured by the college process at the end of last school year but says that it makes more sense to her now.
“I am afraid that I am just underestimating how hard senior year is going to be, and I know I will take it seriously, but I hope that I stay on track,” Summer said.

The Brain:

Seth* spent his summer creating a fencing scorekeeper app at the Harvard-Westlake Innovation Lab program. After competing at fencing nationals in Columbus, Ohio, he realized that there needed to be a simpler app to help keep score.

“I am focusing on keeping it simple because one of my coaches pulled me over and asked me how to use one, and I had no idea because it was so complicated,” Seth said. “So I am just making sure it is easy to understand.”

Seth has a few people testing his app and received good feedback about its simplicity and accuracy.
Seth has completed all of the Common Application except the essay.

“The essay is asking something that is hard to know about yourself,” Seth said. “At least for me it is difficult.”
He is looking for a college environment with hardworking people, nice weather, and a town with internship and job opportunities. Seth is also looking for a school with a great fencing program.

Seth believes that Stanford University fits his criteria pretty well. He is thinking about applying early action there, but also is interested in Brown.
“I am kind of worried that I won’t get in to my top choices, but I don’t think that I will not get in anywhere,” Seth said.

The All-Around

Football offensive lineman Walter* plans on auditioning for the spring play, “As You Like It.” Although he would like to audition for the fall musical, “Company,” he cannot because he will be in season.

Walter spent his summer traveling with his family to Canada and doing the Common Application. He has completed almost all of the application except the essay and written the UC essay. In July, Walter began football practices.
Walter hopes to attend a midsized college that is near a city.

Walter visited colleges in the spring and has seen local schools such as University of California, Los Angeles, and University of Southern California.
Although Walter intends to apply to a college early decision, he has not yet decided which college. Walter plans on deciding where he will apply early decision within the next couple of weeks.

As an only child, Walter feels his parents are relieved that they only have to go through the college process with their child once. He helps to reassure his parents who sometimes get anxious that everything will be okay.

“I am an optimist,” Walter said. “It’s not like I’m open to any college, but I can always see the good and the bad in a situation, because I know wherever I end up, I will make the best of any situation.”

Walter is currently more excited than nervous about applying to college.

“I am more excited at this point because I haven’t had to hear any bad news yet,” Walter said. “I’m excited for the process and to weigh my options and see what happens.”

*Names have been changed

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