The beginning of the end
Three hundred and seventy-one. To most this is just a number and a reader probably wishes I wouldn’t mention math this close to the end of the year. However, for the rising senior class, 371 means a little bit more. It is the number of days that remain until the class of 2019’s graduation.
Two years ago, current Harvard freshman Yuri-Grace Ohashi took seniors on a journey through their senior year and prepared them for their upcoming college experiences, as she wrote the class of 2017’s Senior Walk. Over the course of the next 12 months, I hope to do the same for the class of 2019 as they take on their final year of high school and the last moments before the next chapter of their lives. Class of 2019, this is your Senior Walk.
Today marks the start of the end for the class of 2019. Since the class of 2018 took their final walk through the halls yesterday, every grade has taken on a new title leaving the juniors to become the seniors. This new label may seem useless right now, but even today the benefits of being a senior are showing up.
“I’m more relaxed,” rising senior Maxwell Meyhoefer said. “It’s nice to know that my future is solidified and that I’m one of the leaders of the school.”
This morning, the newly appointed seniors got their first taste of the high life. Class officers hosted a tailgate in the parking lot to honor the new kings of the school and begin the celebrating that will surely last the course of the next year.
“After seeing two classes of seniors have their tailgate and wear their senior shirts, it was really cool finally getting to do that,” rising senior Carson Hines said. “My friends and I had a great time playing games and hanging out.”
Another celebration method being used today is the wearing of senior shirts. Each year, the senior class has the option of purchasing their own shirts which they wear throughout senior year. The shirts have each student’s nickname on them and today is the first day the class of 2019 has ever worn them at school.
While today is the beginning of the end, it also is the start of what will be a great year. The class of 2019 has worked extremely hard to get to this point and I look forward to covering the events that will surely shape an eventful year.
For now, seniors enjoy your first day and summer vacation. Go Panthers, and in the words of the class of 2019’s current logo, “Do b19 things!”
The last first week
Alarm clocks buzz at seven in the morning, aisles and aisles of pencils and paper are on display in the stores, and long yellow buses drive down the streets. This can only mean one thing: school is back in session. And for the class of 2019, it has started for the last time.
“Our overall objective is do our absolute best to make our class’ last year of high school as memorable and special as possible,” senior class president Tori Davis said.
Three months ago I began writing about the class of 2019’s Senior Walk and made it my goal to cover everything that will go on throughout our final year of high school. Now that coverage will continue as the school year has officially begun and the countdown to the end continues with only 280 days remaining until graduation.
The first week of school brought several milestone moments for the new kings of Starr’s Mill. On Aug. 5, the senior class chose their claims of the school parking lot by marking their parking spaces in chalk. They also had an opportunity to paint senior-related words on their vehicle’s windows so the world will know who now rules the Mill.
The first week also brought the start to senior portrait season. This past Friday and Saturday, Cady Studios visited the Mill and took senior yearbook photos. Seniors also have been getting pictures from other places to commemorate their final year of required schooling.
Seniors also were treated to three dress up days on the first week that went along with the traditions of the Mill. Monday was white senior shirt day, Wednesday was wacky shirt day, and Thursday was jersey day. These dress up days proved successful for the class of 2019 and kept the annual customs of past senior classes alive.
Two major events occurred this past week for the seniors. The first was the first senior executive board meeting of the year. It was on Thursday and took place in Vicki Morgan’s room where planning for all the major events for seniors took place, including tailgating and Homecoming.
The second was a senior tailgate that was held in the student parking lot on the first day of school. This was the senior’s second tailgate and was a celebration of the start of a new year.
Both events allowed the class to get together and socialize, and start getting all the preparations together for a great senior year. “We are doing things that haven’t traditionally been done by other [senior] classes,” Davis said. “We are in the workings of planning Powder Puff for Promise, a Powder Puff game that will be played between juniors and seniors to raise money for Promise Place [and] also are working to plan a great homecoming hallway, float, and pep rally.”
The class of 2019’s senior year is off to a good start. And while the celebrations have already started, the entire year cannot be all partying. The next major week for seniors will not be until Homecoming Week starting on Sept. 17. So for now I say congratulations seniors for starting the end of your high school career and good luck in your classes.
Photo via Flickr (Aldon Hayes) under Creative Commons license
The Prowler’s guide to college prep
This entry of Senior Walk is gonna be a pretty big eye opener for some, so I feel the best way to start is to say there are only 233 days until graduation. That’s right — the days are numbered until the first chapter of their lives ends and seniors experience the freedom after high school. However, with the end of high school comes the start of college and a lot must be done before then.
Some say senior year is the easiest year in high school. The classes aren’t too difficult, seniors can exempt all exams second semester, and at this point students are accustomed to the high school atmosphere. But senior year has its fair share of hard work. At this point seniors have a long list of items they need to get done before graduation, including: SAT/ ACT finalization, applying to colleges at appropriate times, and hunting for scholarships and financial aid.
“You don’t want to put anything off or procrastinate,” guidance counselor Colleen Petty said. “I know seniors have a lot on their plate and a lot of them are in AP classes which are demanding and time consuming, but you have to [do applications]. For example, this weekend we have Monday and Tuesday off and if they can just dedicate three hours one day and three the next, they probably could be done with those.”
SAT/ ACT finalization is the first thing seniors need to complete. While it may seem like there are still many tests ahead to take, it is wise for seniors to be wrapping up these tests since they need their scores to apply to colleges, scholarships, and other programs. It can also lead to final decisions about college since the scores determine the scholarships that will determine college cost and selection.
“What [seniors] need to be focusing on is probably finishing up their SAT or ACT [and] October or maybe November should probably be their last tests,” Petty said.
After the testing is complete, it’s time to start with college applications. If you are planning on going the regular admissions route, you still have a few months to get everything you need together. However, the time is almost done for early action and early decision as most colleges will close this feature at the latest on Nov. 1. Some colleges even closed their applications this past Monday. But with all that said you may be wondering why is it even worth it to apply early and not take the extra months that comes with regular admissions? The answer is simple: money.
Before I can explain the advantages of early applications, it is important to understand the difference of early action and early decision. They are two different things. Early action is the one you are going to want to do when applying to college, as it allows you to apply early, find out if you got in early, and nothing more. Early decision, however, automatically enrolls you into the college with little chance of escape, if you get in. This means if you hit this button and get into a school, you are there for at least the next year. And the only thing you get out of this is you find out a little earlier than the early action people. Long story short, only use early decision if you are 100 percent sure you are going to a school.
The advantages of early application are pretty simple. First, it allows you to know if you got into a school before most others and can allow you to choose a school by Christmas break. Wouldn’t having a college already selected going into second semester be nice? It also gives you access to all the scholarships being given away by schools in January and February, when most of the money is up for grabs. This money, by the way, won’t be available to most regular decision people, so remember that as the early application deadline comes closer.
“The main reason to do an early action is that you get your answer earlier,” Petty said. “And then you can breathe a sigh of relief because it cannot only be stressful it can be expensive.”
The final thing seniors need to worry about is scholarships and financial aid. If college could be summed into one word, “expensive” would be a good choice. Student loan debt increases every year, so it is important to choose a college that you can actually afford. The best way to make that choice more doable is with scholarships. Free money is being given out by all kinds of organizations who just want writing samples or proof that you did something. Look for them! If you just apply to one scholarship every week until graduation, just think about all that money you could have toward college. Also, if going in state remember to stay on course for HOPE, which gives 80 percent of tuition and Zell Miller, which pays the rest of HOPE.
Financial aid also can help pay for college. In fact, it is required if you even want a chance at the scholarships colleges are giving away. Financial aid is government funds given to students to pay for college. You can apply for it starting Oct. 1, and it needs to be completed as part of most school’s application process.
Seniors have lots to do before they can start college next year, so get on it. And to end on a more exciting note, remember October starts senior nights for fall sports. Go out and support your senior athletes!
Senior year part one equals done
If the saying “the end is near” hasn’t sunk in yet for seniors, maybe these facts will help. There are only 177 days left until graduation and the number of semesters left for seniors is about to be reduced to one. But even with so much coming to an end, there is still a ton going on for the class of 2019. Here are the major happenings that seniors need to know as the semesters end.
The senior and junior class fundraiser, Powder Puff, will occur on Dec. 14. The event will raise money and other donations for Promise Place, an organization that helps victims of domestic violence and their families. The event will feature a football game that puts female students as the athletes and the boys as the cheerleaders. It definitely is a can’t miss!
“It’s the final opportunity of the year to enjoy some Friday night lights, flag football style, all while raising money and needed supplies for Promise Place,” senior class President Tori Davis said.
Early application for colleges is a wrap, but regular decision season has just begun. This means if you haven’t applied already, it’s time to get working on those college applications. For more info on the application process see the previous Senior Walk, “The Prowler’s Guide to College Prep.” Also remember scholarship season is in full swing so apply for those, too.
The end of semester one also means that Christmas is almost here and if you still don’t know what to ask Santa for, The Prowler has a few ideas for seniors. Instead of asking for that video game or piece of technology you will only use once, try for something that will help in college next year. Items for your dorm room, new clothes, or even things that will help in your classes would all be great gifts. Here are some specific examples if you still don’t know what to get:
- new laptop
- dorm room decorations
- school supplies
- mini Fridge
- new back-to-school clothes
“[Ask for] useful things like a computer and maybe gift cards to stores you like so you can pick out new clothes,” senior Elizabeth Lindley said.
Senior dues only have three and a half more weeks of being $100. After first semester ends they will increase to $110, so it is highly suggested that you pay your dues now. Dues are mandatory as they pay for cap and gown at graduation, so you might as well pay them before you lose an extra $10.
The end of the first semester is definitely a busy one for the class of 2019. And while it is sad to think the end of high school is approaching so rapidly, there is still one last semester to go before we have to say goodbye for good. For now, however, I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a fantastic holiday season. I’ll be back next semester to continue and conclude what is becoming a fantastic Senior Walk!
It’s March, back to Senior Walk
It’s been a while since I last posted, but on a brighter note we are down to double digits on the countdown to graduation. Only 60 days. Hang in there seniors — the end is almost here!
There are a few reminders and to-do’s seniors should be completing as we wait for May to arrive. Here are all the tasks that need done over the next few weeks.
“Keep checking Remind, Group Me, emails, and make sure you pay your senior dues,” Senior Class Secretary Ashley Fukuyama said.
Scholarship and college application season is just about wrapped up, so it’s time for final college selections. Over the next few weeks make sure you know what your plans for next fall are and have all FAFSA and other scholarship information sent over to your college by their specific deadline. Also the period to pick up your final transcripts will be May 1-6, so get down to the guidance office by then.
Wanting to advertise your graduation? Well with senior yard signs and neighborhood signs, you can! Ignoring my terrible sales pitch, the class of 2019 has entered the last days to get senior yard signs. They are $40 and must be turned in by April 15. Neighborhood signs should be done by your homeowners association, so be looking for emails from them in the coming weeks.
“Continue to check blackboard under the counselor tab for information regarding senior yard signs,” Senior Class President Tori Davis said. “Speak with your HOA board to gather information on producing [neighborhood] signs.”
Prom is one month away and tickets are already on sale in Wendy Willoughby’s room. They are $100 and guarantee access to the Carnival themed dance on April 27. If you haven’t paid your junior dues, you must buy one to attend before spring break. After break, sales for out-of-school students will go on sale.
The senior song for graduation and class shirt voting has started. Make sure you take the poll, sent out via Remind, by March 29.
Submissions for potential senior class project ideas are being requested by the officers. If you have an idea on how to leave a legacy for the class, talk to one of the senior class officers today!
Some final dates to put on the calendar. Senior night is May 16 at 6 p.m., Baccalaureate is May 21 at 7 p.m., and Commencement is May 24 at 7 p.m. Seniors remember to be in good academic standing and keep your occurrences to a minimum, so you can exempt senior final exams. Keep pushing for two more months.
That’s it for this month. Seniors the end is near. Only eight weeks remain in your high school career and this senior walk. Let’s finish strong and go Panthers!
“Take a deep breath, and continue to work hard to finish out the year! Don’t let senioritis get the best of you, you can do it,” Davis said. “The tassel’s worth the hassle.”
The Prowler’s five-step guide to curing senioritis
Spring break is over. Prom is in the past. And graduation is less than three weeks away. This normally would be grounds for celebration, but the opposite is true. A disease is running rampant through the Mill and it’s called senioritis.
Want to cure your senioritis, but don’t know how? Well in just five easy steps your senioritis will disappear forever. Let’s begin.
Step 1: Admitting you have a problem
It is easy to just pretend school isn’t a thing anymore and to ignore your responsibilities. But you survived this long, so you might as well do it for a few more weeks. Accept the fact senior year isn’t over and finish strong.
Step 2: Acknowledging the importance of school
Chances are the value you once saw in your classes is gone. That value, however, needs to come back. The classes you are taking are, in fact, quite important and can help you in the future.
Think of it like this, this is the last time your teachers will care about teaching you, and the material they are teaching will go a long way in college. Besides, you invested all this time into your classes, might as well finish strong so you can get the credit later on. Remember AP exams are still a thing.
Step 3: Using college transcripts as an incentive (The Blackmail Method)
If you still can’t seem to be over this horrible disease, blackmail is the next best method. Blackmailing yourself that is. Colleges still haven’t completely decided you are fit for their school. They may have sent you your acceptance, but it can easily be resent if your grades get too low. So use this fear to combat senioritis. And if you don’t fear what the colleges will do to you, remember the wrath of you parents.
Step 4: The joy of communal suffering
It may seem like you are going through this all alone. Like all the pains of senioritis are only affecting you. But this is not true, as almost every senior is suffering right now. Even I, the author of this guide, am suffering as I type this, because the senioritis is burning at me. Use this as a motivator.
Communal suffering has been known to unite people in their times of need and help push them to the end. It could be used by just knowing in the back of your head, others feel the way you do or you and your friends could use it to take turns pushing each other toward the end. Use this tool as you see fit. It is one of great value.
Step 5: The route to the end
If you have followed these steps correctly so far, you are ready for the last tip. Remembering that the end is near. Just keeping this in the back of your head can be the best motivation you need to destroy your senioritis and make it to the end.
If you followed these five basic steps you should be cured of your senioritis. Congrats.
*”Senior Walk” and The Prowler are not responsible if senioritis goes uncured after reading. News Editor Jacob Hunt has no prior experience curing senioritis and is not licensed to cure the disease. Please talk to real medical personnel to truly cure your disease. Or just wait patiently for graduation at 7 p.m. on May 24.
Do you remember when you were sitting at freshman orientation and with nervous anticipation wondered, how you will survive the next four years? What about your freshman year when you found that extra-curricular that you now consider a calling? That first day of junior year when you walked in as an upperclassman? Or junior year’s last day when you became that senior that would graduate in a year?
High school is full of milestones and memories. It’s just like a story with hundreds of characters doing their own plots. Plots that all end in less than two weeks.
Since I started this “Senior Walk” I have been fighting myself on how I wanted to end it. I could just do a typical walk down memory lane and then say goodbye and that’s it. I mean a ton has happened in four years’ time. But instead of just spewing nostalgia that you could find in your yearbook or old Prowler stories, I wanted to end with this — the realization that May 24 isn’t your typical story’s end. Because there are more pages to this book.
Everyone of us will continue onto great things after high school. For some it could be fame and fortune. For others it will be a typical family lifestyle. Some people might even end up like their parents. And while I can’t write a news story telling what is to come, I can write what I know.
Colleges and careers graduating seniors will attend:
Agnes Scott College – Abigail Mapel
Air Force Academy – Alyson Phinney
Air Force – Andrew Williams
Anderson University – Audrey Carroll
Arizona State University – Mary Dennis
Auburn University – Kaitlyn Reiss, Emma Posey, Katie Alldredge, Michael Heatherly, Sophia Bender, Preston Harris, Jordan Cole
Belmont University – Sean Phelan
Berry College – Sarah Johnston, Jacob Hunt
Clemson University – Caroline Andrews
Coker University – Ansley Wallace
Colorado State University – Ally Marshall
Cosmology school – Mackenzie Gibson
Embry Riddle Aeronautical University – Liam Artman, Vladimir Taylor
Florida State University – Sarah-Grace Collins
Franciscan University of Steubenville – Sebastian Garzon
Georgia College and State University – Ansley Taubert, Abigail Beaulieu, Joseph Piceno, Katelyn O’Shields, Carson Hines, Ellie Camp, Franny Landgrebe, Rose Stephens, Eric Lacourly, Grayson Faircloth, Ryan Henderson, Gracie Britt, Sarah Lawson, Gracen O’Neil, Libby Gilmer, Ansley Osborne
Georgia Military College – Kaitlyn Smilie, James Lock
Georgia Southern University – Lauren Ratinaud, Becca Davis, Kellie Arnold, Matthew Hyle, Dylan Yost
Georgia Institute of Technology – Madison Knowlton, Jake Paupe, Bailey Austin, Ashley Fukuyama, Carol-Anne Collins, Brady Meyer, Erin Pham, Ore Amosu, Ben Mrosek, Ian Fertig
Gordon State College – Logan Cognac
Jacksonville State University – Madison Corkill, Nick Wiest, Devon Moan
Kennesaw State University – Kate Kojali, Caroline Kingsley, Rachel Davison, Ethan Nuqui, Mckenna Rockwell, Kelsey Proffit, McKell Williams, Aubrey Stewart, Hailey Grebeck, Mya Burns, Leah Serratelli, Kristen Decos, Niki Jackson
Mercer University – Nolan Robichaux, Tara Davis, Athena Higgins, Luke Bennett
Middle Georgia State University – Matthew Craig
Middle Tennessee State University – Adam Secor
Milligan College – Alivia Sapienza
New York University – Chad Evans, Tooni Bamiro
Oglethorpe University – Zion Glenn, Abri Hausman
Oxford College of Emory – Saijleen Chawla
Penn State University – Abby Weaver
Project SEARCH – Sara Huang
Purdue University – Jack West
Rochester Community and Technical College – Jalen Lazenby
Rollins College – Liza Eubanks
Samford University – Aidan Fenwick, Emily Egan
Southern Crescent Technical College – Ke Julien
Texas A&M University – Tori Davis
Toccoa Falls College – Zach Garcia
Truett McConnell College – Jonelle Granger
University of Alabama – Sarah McNulty, Lisa Bergmann, Sarah Kirby, Lea Duben
University of Central Florida – Ana Kewley
University of Georgia – Stephen Stalzer, Sarah Dorr, Tatmeen Khimani, Luke Presley, Michael Burnett, Camber Bransky, Isabelle Bowman, Alex Mahr, Cole Wittbrodt, Laura Anderson, Sarah Kelly
University of Kentucky – Ty Odom
University of Mississippi – Jack Wilson
University of Missouri – Rilee Stapleton
University of North Georgia – Luke Lamneck, Lauren McBryde, Kate Ashmore
University of Tennessee – Kerry Cronin, Sam Bohdan
University of Utah – Caroline Crockett
University of West Georgia – Steven Corrado, Grayson Faircloth, Hannah Defler, Colt Mullins, Grace Beasau
Valdosta State University – Ally Little
West Point Military Academy – Rhett Perry
Xavier University of Louisiana – Allanah Bryant
Reading down this list, I have to say I’m both impressed and disappointed. Impressed by the big things the class of 2019 will be doing over the next few years and beyond. Disappointed by the fact that our journey together is over. But as I’ve said before our individual stories are just beginning.
So I leave you with this. Thank you for making this “Senior Walk” one of the best the school has ever seen. And as we past this tradition down to the class of 2020, I wish them the best of luck. After all, as we take our final steps on our “Senior Walk,” theirs are just beginning.
Thanks for a great year and good luck in the future.