Features Magazine Volume 69, Issue 2

Seniors, It’s Nearly November 1…

“[I’m scared of] not getting a scholarship…it’s not [that]…I don’t have enough money, but not enough money to pay for college,” said Senior Daryna Dmytrenko. 

How ready are people for college? This next chapter of life can be scary, fun, and challenging. There is so much to worry about: the grades, applications, senior projects, homecoming, sports, and arts. However, Ms. Anne Fuller, college and career counselor at Las Lomas, gives a few tips for seniors and the juniors that are preparing to take on this next chapter, and for the people that are struggling or just want the extra advice, Ms. Fuller is there for everyone. 

One of the biggest struggles that are brought into the college world is money. College tuition is known to be ridiculously expensive as well as the dorm cost, books, and living expenses. Balancing studying and working to pay for these needs can get overwhelming. To prepare for this, Fuller said, “Parents [sometimes] open what’s called a 529 account when their kids are in middle school and they start contributing to that account.” By having this 529 account from an early age can lift a little weight off their shoulders as they already have been saving up for college. She explains furthermore by saying, “Those who have 529 account[s] contribute [savings] for college…If students don’t have that, then they have to figure out, ‘How am I going to pay for it?’” Overall, there is no harm in preparing in advance for something as big as college. There is no doubt that tuition costs will increase in the next few years, so the best thing to do would be to save money before the time’s up.

A student’s job is to ask as many questions as they can, especially seniors because of the amount of weight they have to juggle. Consequently, they ask Ms. Fuller many questions. If anything, her “common questions are everything.” One question in particular she gets all the time is “Why should I go out of state when all the in state schools are fine?” As we all may know, deciding which colleges to apply to can be overbearing because of the wide selection and the consideration of tuition for each university. For example, one college Ms. Fuller recommends is University of Nevada, Reno because it is affordable and you can establish residency in the state after one year and then pay in state tuition. She also recommends the WUE program, also known as the Western Undergraduate Exchange program. It allows people to go out of state to western schools and it can be more affordable than going to an in state school. Everything is about affordability. Families and students should be able to earn their degrees and get their education with the cost of what they can afford. 

Ms. Fuller also explained how a senior should be preparing for their sleep schedule, social life, and their grades. One thing Ms. Fuller touched on the most is that students should start to sleep more hours than they usually do. She said, “So their sleep schedule, it’s a balance of not overcommitting yourself and realizing that if they’re going to apply to a four year college of fall, that’s going to take time to do.” Due to college apps, senior projects, and homecoming, there is no doubt that seniors are going to be stressed out. Starting to get into the healthy habit of sleeping early and waking up early  from the start of junior summer going to senior year can help out a lot. Another thing to help with the sleep schedule is to start writing college essays’ during the summertime before the school year starts so that you have less stress going into senior year. “The best advice I could give any student at Las Lomas, if you think you are going to apply to a four year school, get your essays done in the summer and walk in in August feeling good about the fact that ‘I’ve already got my application halfway done and all I have to do is press the submit button.’” This way, seniors can put more effort in their academics, sports, or arts. They can also have time to spend time with their friends and family as well. Altogether, seniors can have more time to enjoy the little bit of high school they’ve got left.  

Preparations for college can seem like the biggest hassle in high school. However, with the help of Ms. Fuller, anything can be possible as she is always there to give a helping hand to those that need her.  Before you freak out to her though, keep in mind that saving money is key to affording college and living a better life. Not only are you able to pay for living expenses, but you are also keeping a healthy habit of learning how to use your money carefully and usefully. Keep in mind that sleep is important and you are going to need a lot of it and ask as many questions as you can because teachers, like Ms. Fuller, are around for a reason. Daryna said, “I’m glad that I have resources around me so that I can find my way through..Exploring the unknown and leaving something so familiar behind is scary, but exciting.”