Senior Seminar Advice

From the desk of Celia Tucker, Academic Counselor:

Questions, answers, laughter, more questions, laughter, more answers; “Oh, no, I have to write an essay for my college application?”; writers block; personal stories; “I have to write 2 essays for my college application?”; remembering activities from 9th grade, 10th grade and junior year (and having to write them down in detail); realizing how important senior year is; “Oh, my, they tried to tell me that GPA matters—and it does”; learning that the definition of “optional” is “do it”; realizing that every single college has different requirements, different deadlines, and different policies; interest inventories; personality tests; college tuition sticker shock; “college textbooks cost what?…and I have to buy how many?”, learning that deadline means deadline; learning that taking rigorous courses in high school is the absolute best way to prep for SAT or ACT; “you mean how I acted in class does matter when asking for letters of recommendation?”…

Welcome to Senior Seminar.

To me, Senior Seminar is like the huddle before each play on the football field. Seniors know the process—they have been preparing for years—they come together as a group to be reminded about the details—and then they break the huddle and execute.
This year in Senior Seminar we have taken an in-depth look at the “College Application To Do List”, paying very close attention to the fact that the “To Do List” is a series of tasks that, when accomplished, can be checked off of the list with the mighty stroke of a pen or pencil providing an ever so brief moment of celebration before moving on to the next item on the list.
We have listened and learned about scholarships and financial aid with college representatives discussing the Federal Aid process (FAFSA) and local scholarship administrators guiding us through the scholarship maze. What seniors heard over and over is that local scholarships can definitely add up and pay for those ever so necessary textbooks and more. Basically, seniors know that the words “scholarship” and “I will apply” are almost always said simultaneously. When said in unison they are guaranteed to make a parent smile. We know for a fact that students will never ever be awarded scholarships of any kind if they choose to not apply, so all together now—“scholarshipiwillapply”…spell check is trying its’ best to tell me that I need to use the space bar with that long word…but I know better…

When the panel of Admissions Representatives from nine colleges came to our class this year we were spellbound. The gracious representatives shared their personal stories with the class as well as provided insight into their chosen universities. The stories were heartwarming, hilarious, and humbling. When class was over we moved the discussion to the Senior Lounge area because I don’t think any of us wanted the representatives to leave. Let me just say that I wanted to immediately apply to all nine schools. The speakers were dynamic.

In Senior Seminar on Super Hero Day super men and women filled the Lecture Hall. Because seniors at Brook Hill are totally Super Heroes in my eyes, it was a wonderful day to focus in on individual personalities and interests. Choosing a major that will lead to a job that will lead to a fulfilling career is what college is really all about and looking at resources to help make informed decisions is the best way to prepare.

Before we break the Senior Seminar huddle for the year we will hear from professors at The University of Texas at Tyler and get tips and assistance with essay writing while learning about Liberal Arts majors and opportunities for employment.
In the very near future Seniors 2014 will be checking the last item off of their “College Application To Do List”, breaking the huddle, and driving down the field for a touchdown.

It will be time to celebrate.
…and shed a few super hero tears…