Adapting to life after high school

Jenna Miller
Staff Writer

The thought of taking the next step after high school can be scary for seniors. For some kids, that means heading off to college and starting over socially. Applying to school can be stressful enough, and being stuck in a place where you have to make friends all over again can also be intimidating, but a lot of that stress may be unwarranted.

Kayhi class of 2018 Brittany Slick is a freshman at University of Idaho in Moscow. She was confident in her ability to get accepted to the schools she applied to, she instead focused her efforts on other related aspects of college.

“I don’t think I worried too much about getting into college,” said Slick. “I think scholarships was the thing I worried about most, because now if you have a decent GPA, you can usually get accepted into most general universities. I already knew my top two choices of schools so I applied early on and got accepted before a lot of other people, so the rest of my senior year was more focused on scholarships.”

Slick counted on her test scores playing a big factor in her acceptance, but they ultimately weren’t as important for her as she anticipated.

“I worried way too much about my SAT and ACT scores,” said Slick. “After stressing about taking them and getting a good score, I found that my GPA was high enough, that most colleges didn’t even look at my test score or didn’t even want them at all. But it is different for a lot of colleges so they do matter, and if you have a lower GPA they can actually combine and bump you up to qualify for admission.”

Kody Malouf, class of 2018 was a freshman at Seattle U before recently transferring to Northern Arizona University. His initial goal for application was to cast a wide net.

“I originally applied to a lot of schools just for the hell of it,” said Malouf. “I figured it couldn’t hurt so I applied to eight or nine different schools and made my decision from the ones that accepted me. I was kind of lazy in the way that I only applied to schools that were on the Common App just so I didn’t have to fill out a bunch of different applications, and I also waited until the eleventh hour to send out my application.”

Malouf’s transfer process from Seattle U to NAU has been just as simple as his original application process.

“Transferring to NAU was pretty painless,” said Malouf. “Since I hadn’t completed a whole quarter of college and had no grades for them to go off of, they just treated me like a first year applicant and accepted me based solely on my high school GPA which was nice.”

Class of 2017 AJ Dela Cruz originally planned her college application process around sports, but had to make other arrangements after an injury.

“Senior year I definitely was worried because up until junior year I thought I would be looking at schools for basketball and due to me tearing my ACL, I was not able to do so,” said Dela Cruz. “My senior year turned into me thinking about what I could offer schools outside of athletics, luckily I had counselors to help me out and push me to apply for scholarships like the Questbridge one I ended up getting. By December 1st I already knew I was getting a full ride scholarship to Colby and was worry free from there.”

Going in to their first year of college, some students tend to stress more than others. Brittany Slick was confident is her abilities going in to college.

“I felt pretty prepared, most of the classes I’m taking this semester I’ve basically already taken in high school, so it’s just a refresher on most topics,” said Slick. “The weird thing is that I noticed a lot of my high school teachers would say ‘this is what college is gonna be like’ or ‘in college they do this’ and when I first got here I felt like almost none of that was true.”

There was one aspect however, that Slick was not fully aware of.

“The one thing I wasn’t really prepared for was the workload,” said Slick. “You take a set of classes each semester instead of instead of a full year, so all of the information is packed into about 3 and a half months. It’s just a lot to handle at first because everything is taught so fast and you have to keep up with papers and projects in 5 or 6 classes.”

Malouf was surprised on how easy the college lifestyle has been for him thus far.

“College really has not been super difficult for me so far,” said Malouf. “I had three classes my first quarter, and while they were definitely a step up from high school, none of them were really anything that I wasn’t at least kind of prepared for or couldn’t handle.”

Malouf cites the hardest part about college academics is the homework.

“There is a lot more expected of you from an academic standpoint in college,” said Malouf. “You need to actually pay attention in class because if you don’t you’ll miss something important. The amount of homework from my classes was easily the most difficult part for me. I’m in two writing classes and a science so I have a lot of stuff to write, quite a few papers of varying length and also a bunch of smaller assignments.

Slick found the social aspect of college rather easy, thanks to one important factor of her college lifestyle.

“It was really scary for me at first, but going into a sorority helped so much because you automatically have 60 plus friends,” said Slick. “I’ve met some of the best people and made better connections with people here in four months than 12 year friendships back at home, which was both surprising and amazing. I think just belonging to something was a huge help in making friends, I would definitely suggest joining a club or team or something that gets you connected to other people.”

Malouf found making friends slightly more difficult, but was able to figure it out eventually.

“Yeah that was a little hard at first, but my roommate is really cool and once we became friends it made it a lot easier for both of us to make more friends pretty quickly,” said Malouf. My roommate was really social early on, he was always wandering our hall and trying to meet new people, I made some friends at orientation the first week and really only stick to hanging out with them and my roommate because they’re super cool.”

Even though Malouf is set to transfer to NAU after a quarter in Seattle, he doesn’t think it will be difficult to make new friends there.

“One of my best friends Dante Troina already goes to NAU, so I don’t think I’m going to have much trouble making friends there,” said Malouf. “He already has a lot of friends and I guess they all know who I am and that I’m coming there after Christmas break, so I really don’t think I’m going to have to do any heavy lifting as far as that goes.”

Many young college students often get homesick, especially in the early days of being away. Slick however, has mostly avoided that thanks to the amount of new friends she’s made.

“I really love it here and I’ve made so many great friends that I don’t get homesick very often,” said Slick. I’m excited to just start my life and I think the best way to do that for me was away from home. But I’ve noticed that when I get to see people from home and then have to leave again, that’s when I get more homesick.”

Malouf doesn’t feel any overwhelming effects of homesickness, but he isn’t immune to missing it either.  

“I never really get super homesick, but I do miss home sometimes for sure,” said Malouf. “I think it’s natural, especially when where you live is such a big part of who you are. There are a lot of things you can’t do in Seattle that I feel like I’m missing out on sometimes, I get jealous when I see my friends posting pictures of deer and stuff like that. I wouldn’t say I’m constantly thinking about missing home or that it significantly affects me day to day, but I will say I like home a lot more than school.”

While Malouf sites social media as something that makes him miss home, it also helps him keep in touch with his friends that he doesn’t see while he’s away.

“The worst thing social media does for me is show me pictures of my friends doing stuff that I wish I was doing like shooting deer and fishing and all the fun stuff that there is to do in Ketchikan,” said Malouf. “But I’d say that really motivates me to take full advantage of my time back. Social media is a lot more good than bad for me though because I’m able to keep in such close contact with my friends back home. If I wasn’t able to do that, I would definitely miss them a lot more and might let that distract me or make me homesick. One thing I definitely don’t miss is the rain.”

News from Ketchikan High School

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