Looking at colleges online is a common thing for my mom and I to do on the weekends. Recently, we were looking online at dorm rooms for the University of Montana and all of a sudden something struck my mom as she sat up and looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “I can’t believe you’re really going to leave”. At first, I was kind of confused. We both knew this was coming all along, we had been looking at colleges all summer. But in this moment, I realized what it all meant, not only for my mother, but for me. Next year I will be off on my own, being an independent adult like I’ve always wanted to be. But it will not be easy without the help and support of the biggest role model in my life, my mom. My mother is a kindergarten teacher. She’s the mom who is extremely caring, sweet, protective, and patient… but times ten. Because of her, I’ve never had to worry about the simple things in life like money for food and shelter, and advice on everyday problems. My mom is someone I can vent all my feelings to and who will always genuinely care about them. Her questions about school, dance, homework, and boys always seemed nosey to me; but now I realize it helped us create a great bond and made it easy for me to share my feelings with her. When I was searching for colleges, I never thought about the reality of leaving my mom. I knew I had a great life because of her, but now I don’t know if I ever gave her credit or appreciated what I had. Realizing it will all be taken away is when I started to truly appreciate all my mom has done for me. My sister, who is currently in college, calls my mom almost every day which seems crazy to me. She would have been the last person anyone would expect to do this, but it shows that everyone needs a person like my mom in their life to support them and love them. I love my mom more than anything and it’s hard to believe I won’t be living in the same house as her, that I won’t talk to her every morning, or go on walks with her after school. It’s hard to have someone who has made such a big impact in my life suddenly be miles and miles away. Being able to realize this now before we are apart has made me cherish this last year with my mom even more. Making an effort to realize what you have can help you avoid taking the important things in life for granted. We want to live in these moments, not wish away our lives or dwell on the memories. Treasure the people and fortune you have now, because you never know when it could be gone. I want to enjoy my life fully and even though senior year is stressful and jam packed, I hope I can take a step back every once and awhile and be able to truly be in the moment and enjoy my senior year.
Ketchikan High School hosted over 50 schools Wednesday at the college fair. The goal was for students to talk with admission counselors and receive more information about the colleges. Senior Verona Kamberi said that having the college fair every year is very helpful. “I think it is a great opportunity, especially for seniors that are still looking for colleges,” said Kamberi. “There are so many representatives that are trying to get you to go to their college, all you need to do is just go up to their booth and ask the questions.” Director Amy Potter from Alaska Pacific University said that having a college fair is a great idea for high schools. “I think it’s really helpful to get exposure to lots of different types of colleges and universities,” said Potter. “Everyone is unique and finding a good college is important.”
Senior year has its expectations, anticipations, and the dreaded “senioritis”. With all the excitement that comes with senior year, there’s also a lot of stress that comes with the idea of college. Applications, scholarships, essays, and admissions are all just stepping stones in the beginning of a college career. Senior Keri Thomas believes the stress of senior year can be hard to handle at times. “It’s like being enrolled in two different schools at once,” said Thomas. “You’re doing scholarships and early applications at the same time you’re writing essays and doing homework for your high school classes.” Although the demands of college can take a toll on the seniors, Thomas points out the traditions and special events that will relieve some stress for her and her classmates throughout their last year at Kayhi. “There are a lot of things worked into senior year to make it fun for us; like senior float and senior carnival,” said Thomas. “It’s the little fun things that come with being a senior that helps with the stress of college and the year ahead.” Every Class is Unique Math teacher Jennifer Karlik believes this class has a special quality that is not always as prominent as years past. “The class of 2018 is exceptionally kind,” said Karlik. “I have specifically paid attention to how this class seems to treat their peers and they are so kind and accepting; it’s really something special to see.” Karlik said that this senior class is very involved with each other. “The closeness is what’s setting them up for success,” said Karlik. “If they work together and help each other out academically, they will do great.” Being a Senior in the 21st Century Science teacher D Jay O’Brien said he notices some major differences between when he was a senior (1980) versus today’s seniors living in the 21st century. “I think it’s more stressful now,” said O’Brien. “When I was a senior, we only had to worry about getting accepted into a university. Seniors nowadays have to look at if they can afford going to the school before anything; you have to make a lot of decisions based on the costs and not the wants.” O’Brien recalls hearing “We Are the Champions” at every single pep rally and only worrying about maintaining a high GPA. “If you had the grade point average that colleges required, you got in,” said O’Brien. “The scores on the state tests (SAT and ACT) weren’t even a qualifier to get in if you met their GPA requirements.” Kayhi provides students secondary education in preparation for the ideal goal of students continuing on to college. O’Brien acknowledges that is the one thing that hasn’t changed since he was in school. “This place has the lights on and the hot lunch all for the benefit and growth of the students to eventually be in this senior position,” said O’Brien. “It’s all about you guys, and that’s never a perspective to lose.” Senior Roles Senior second baseman Michael Starr said there are some perks that come with being a senior on a sports team. “You have more authority and your opinion definitely carries over to the rest of the team along with the coach,” said Starr. Starr points out that those perks don’t mean seniors can slack off.
“Honestly, being a senior means you have to work twice as hard because the rest of the team is looking at you for leadership while you’re carrying your weight on the field as well,” he said. In addition to being a big part of the baseball team this season, Starr is also the SBA president of Kayhi. “As the SBA president, I want this senior class to buy into being a senior,” said Starr. “Try your hardest to walk into everything with an optimistic attitude, because this year is the year that you will get out whatever you put into it. So make the most out of being a senior and you’ll get nothing but positive energy and good times out of it.”
Avery Olson: Of course not. Am I ever actually “on top” of anything? In the end it will be okay, and I will have things worked out and smoothed over. But in the meantime my college preparation is a messy mountain of potential and procrastination. I work my butt off but somehow, it’s never enough. Essays, scholarships, and early applications.. Oh my. The never ending work and perfect student standards role I am pressured to meet is hard to fill in the life of a busy, and lazy teenager. Once I’m sitting in my dorm eating Ramen Noodles, I’ll know I have finally made it.
Pablo Orta: I would really like to say that I am on track with all of my college deadlines and that I’m flying through college applications and getting scholarships left and right but in all honesty, I just found out this morning that today is the early action deadline. I guess I’m not truly behind since most final deadlines are still a few weeks away but I’m still not where I thought I would be or where I would like to be. I seriously need to get my butt to work because if I keep putting things off, there’s no way I’m going to be attending college next year.
Kyra Welker: On top of my college deadlines? Sure. Am I where my school counselor thinks I should be? No. I missed two early action deadlines for colleges I could have and probably should have just applied to. I definitely did not end up apply to the three scholarships that I was hounded about for weeks either. It might seem as if I’m slacking, but I think that being accepted into one university by this time of the year is progress, and for now it’s good enough for me!
Gosh, I wish I was. Senior year is flying by, and it will only get harder because basketball season is starting. I really wish I knew where and when I was going, but I don’t. I’m not even close to being ready for school. I had the epiphany today about what I actually want to do. Yeah I am behind, but am I? It’s not like I’m totally bailing on college to live in the basement and play Call of Duty while drinking Mountain Dew until I’m 36. Things will fall into place, and everything will be okay.
Kayhi hosted over 50 schools Wednesday at the College Fair. The goal was for students to help educate students about the wide variety of college options there are as well as which colleges offer what. From Eastern Washington University to the U.S. Military, the college fair had it all. Senior Kinani Halvorsen said she valued the experience. “I’ve known where I wanted to go for a few months already, but the college fair has definitely given me a better perspective on college as a whole and I’ve also decided on my second choice because of the college fair,” she said. The University of Montana has been coming to the college fair here at Kayhi for 11 years. The school has seen a huge increase in Alaskan students enrolling in their school throughout this time. “Our school is relatable for kids from Alaska because our campus is in a small town, and it’s very outdoors oriented,” said UM representative Martha Johnson. “It offers a smooth, easy transition for kids coming from small town Alaska.” The representative for the University of Colorado Mesa agreed that the fair is very useful for colleges to gain the attention of Alaskan students. “The college fair is a great tool for us to recruit kids from Alaska, we actually enrolled 12 kids last year just from this college fair,” said representative Dave Hernandez. “Kids don’t necessarily make up their mind at a college fair,” said Washington State representative Juan Corona. “It’s more of a tool for kids to use in order to compile a list of schools that they’re interested in, and go from there.”
Kyra Welker: College. It will make me go broke, but it will be so worth it. I will have the freedom and independence to ruin my life at a faster pace than I was previously able to in high school, what could be better than that? But in all seriousness I am ready to figure out what I want to do with my life and hopefully gain more knowledge throughout the process.
Mey Tuinei: I’m definitely not looking forward to having the power of choice and making decisions for myself. I want a menu with only one item on it, not 54, because of my chronic case of indecisiveness. How do I know whether or not I’m going down the right route for me? Scared, yes, but I’m all the more excited to find out.
Pablo Orta: I really hope that my bilingual-ness will help me pay for college because I do not want to be thousands of dollars in debt right after high school. What I hope to get from college is experience new points of view that will help me grow as a person and guide me towards being who I am meant to be. I’m just gonna keep my fingers crossed and hope that college will help me achieve my plans for the future or else that’ll be a lot of money going down the drain.
Jacob Smith: Not going to lie, the thing I am looking forward to is athletics in college. Going to a college and being a part of a program will make life easier. I am scared of the financial side of things. I have a way to pay for it, but being on my own and not spending it on everything I have ever wanted will be hard. I also think me leaving campus to travel around the state/country would also be a problem. Honestly, the freedom is what I am excited for, and what I am most afraid of.