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Seniors tackle college applications

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Seniors tackle college applications

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College season is upon us, Raiders. University of California (UC) applications have been available since August, California State University (CSU) and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) since October. Private universities vary but are now available too, just like community college applications.

It is the time of insight questions, personal statement essays, and everything in between.

Fortunately for Channel Islands students, there is help available for anyone who wants and needs it during this process. College applications can be stressful and overwhelming for many, especially for those who are first generation-students with no clue on where to even start.

Luckily, for three years now at CI, we have Ms. Griselda Sanchez, a college site coordinator.

Ms. Sanchez, a CI graduate, adjusts to each student and his or her specific needs. She is always open to finding new ways to help students and to looking for the answers she might not always have.

Sanchez has a specific area she focuses on within each grade. Freshmen get informed on how higher education works and time management. Sophomores learn more about the financial benefits of higher education. Juniors are told where they stand and what classes they have and need to take. Senior year is all about college and FAFSA applications.

Unlike most of the Islands’ seniors, Ms. Sanchez views this season a bit differently.

She states, “This time of year brings a lot of emotions and excitement. I get to start seeing students dream and to me, that’s one of the most rewarding parts about my job.”

Although she finds the college application season overall very exciting, some days she too feels stressed.

“The hardest part during this time is getting students, specifically from this school, to believe and see themselves capable of achieving their goals,” says Sanchez.

Senior Maritza Salcedo is one of the multiple students taking on college applications. Her focus right now is on the CSU and UC applications.

She described the college application process as something that is very stressful but important since it builds the next 4 years of one’s life. All that aside, it is something she encourages many students to do.

“Having my parents accept I want and am applying to schools far from home has been the hardest part during this entire process,” Salcedo said. “I think the fact that my older sister stayed and took the community college route makes it harder on them.”

However, Salcedo is not letting that stop her. She says her dream school is the University of California Santa Barbara. She wants to major in Communications but still is not quite sure what specific career path she wants to take from there.

Luke Baumgartner, another senior, has the UC applications as his main priority.

In his opinion the most challenging part during this time is the personal insight questions.

“I was having trouble figuring out what to write about because I have experienced so much, but also choosing something that I would have enough to say about,” says Baumgartner.

He adds that the questions can bring about a lot of emotions to the surface, but that sharing his experiences results in him reflecting on his personal growth.

As for his hopes and aspirations, Baumgartner aims for UC Irvine and Loyola Marymount University, where he wants to major in film and photography.

“I hope my friends and I get into our top schools because we have all been working really hard giving it our all,” he said.

Filipinx club president Shannon Luna’s focal point is out of state schools. She is specifically targeting the University of Washington and Arizona State University, both for nursing.

Luna is going to take college one step at a time, but she hopes to have her dream job waiting for her post-college. She plans to still further her education even more until eventually obtaining her doctorate degree.

When it comes to personal insight questions, Luna says she sometimes feels anxious because she isn’t sure to write about, but like Baumgartner, she ends up reflecting on herself and who she is.

The toughest part about the college application process for Luna is the anxiety and self-doubt that comes with inputting grades and test scores.

“It can feel discouraging when you feel like you aren’t good enough to get in, especially considering I overthink a lot,” she said. “But I know things happen for a reason and hard work pays off.”

College applications come with many feelings and emotions. At times it may feel extremely stressful and can be tempting to just give up. It can be hard getting parents to be 100 percent supportive or to believe in oneself, but everyone can reach their dreams.

Fear not Raiders, help is always available here at CI for those who need it. Things might feel tough right now but in March when those acceptance letters come in it will all be more than worth it.

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