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Where Do Falcons Want To Fly?

(illustration by Joaquin Romero) I wake up to smells of pumpkin spice and cinnamon from my kitchen. I walk outside and feel the crisp, cool air against my face. Orange, brown, and red leaves coat my front lawn. I dig out my wool sweaters and mittens from the bottom of my dresser. The countdown until […]

(illustration by Joaquin Romero)

I wake up to smells of pumpkin spice and cinnamon from my kitchen. I walk outside and feel the crisp, cool air against my face. Orange, brown, and red leaves coat my front lawn. I dig out my wool sweaters and mittens from the bottom of my dresser. The countdown until Christmas and winter break can finally begin, and the unknowns of 2019 draw closer, triggering eagerness and curiosity. Fall, arguably the best season of the year, is here.

But for those in the senior class, the fall months are packed with stress, exhaustion, fear, and deadlines. Our time at CB is coming to an end, and we must look at our future.

The college application process takes time, energy, and immense thought. This next chapter of life is where our independence is finally put into action. The idea of going to college feels like jumping straight into the deep end when I can barely swim. There are so many choices and factors that determine where seniors apply.

When it’s all over, no wants to feel like they made the wrong decision. Everyone is so different, and certain aspects of college life are what make or break a school for an individual. I talked to some fellow classmates to learn what parts of college are essential to them and what some deal-breakers may be.

In her A set sports broadcasting class, Jamie Sunada (‘19) sits at her usual corner computer every day, pumping out college essays. It is rare to see her off her grind. Eager to explore the world, Jamie explains that the biggest draw to colleges for her is a strong study abroad program.

“I’m from China and it is very important for me to connect to that part of who am,” Jamie shares. “I want to study in an Asian Country where I can experience my culture.”

For those with strong international ties, college can serve as the perfect place to grow closer with your roots. Many schools offer worldwide study programs so students can broaden their knowledge and experience diversity.

Jamie also seems certain that a small school is not the place for her. Jamie hopes to attend a “big BIG school” where she is able to “meet someone new every time [she] goes on campus.”

School size is a critical factor in the college decision process. Some feel more comfortable in a small pool of people while others, like Jamie, do not mind being a small fish in a big pond. Jamie is constantly full of passion and enthusiasm, and she believes large schools have the most spirit and pride.

“A spiritless climate is not something I want to be in” she confesses.

Jamie knows what she wants and is mostly applying to large, rigorous schools around the country.

“If I get into UCLA, it’s game over” she shares, saying that Westwood is where she belongs.

Whenever I hear Poppy Ruyak (‘19) having a conversation, it seems to often involve college. She is way ahead of the game with all of her applications submitted — no days off for Poppy. I was intrigued to find out where this motivated girl sees herself. Poppy lives for the rah-rah aspect of college and emphasizes the importance of Greek life and a strong athletics program as essential deciding factors of her next four years.

“I would love to go to a school that has big sports teams because those schools have a lot of pride,” she says. “I really want to be part of a sorority because I want to meet new people, make friendships, and help the community around me”

As a current member of Falcon Force, Poppy loves the hype and energy of big games — this girl has sports running through her blood.

“I see pictures of people at games tailgating, and I’ve always wanted to do that,” Poppy adds.

Poppy dedicates immense effort and time to anything she sets her mind to. She has her priorities straight, and since freshman year has dreamed of attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She reps the sweatshirt and keychain of the school everywhere she goes.

Cece Sidley (‘19) has already paved some of her future path with a Division I scholarship to play softball at the University of Rhode Island next fall. Cece, obviously a sports star, is also a huge fan and is excited to watch the Rhode Island men’s basketball team in action.

“We have a very good basketball team, but they are a little weak this year,” Cece admits. However, she believes it is probably a short slump for these guys. “By the time I get there, they’ll be good again.”

Cece, on the other hand, is not as thrilled by Greek life in college.

“For me a sorority is just paying to have friends,” she says. “I don’t want to pay extra for that.”

Although she will soon be across the country, Cece has no concerns about making new friends.

“All of athletics spends time together and become really close,” she claims.

Anthony Sweha (‘19), one of the most brightest people around, has been putting deep thought into his future education. He is clear that although “going to a college with great athletics would be cool,” but that “he will not make his decision based on sports.”

However, the volleyball stud hopes to continue his passion wherever he ends up.

“I will play intramural sports in college for sure,” he says. “I want to keep playing volleyball so I will definitely play beach volleyball.”

Anthony is certain that a large college has his name on it.

“I for sure want to go to a big school,” he says. “I preferably want to go to a UC because I love the campuses and the student life. I like big schools and I don’t mind having classes around 200-400 students.”

“I recently visited my sister [at UC Irvine] and she showed me around the dorms and took me to some of her classes. I love the large UC campuses that have a lot of student activity and opportunities. I also really like the big lecture halls.”

This trip only further convinced Anthony of the type of school he belongs. Anthony hopes to one day follow the the footsteps of his father with a career in the medical field.

“My ideal major is Bio Engineering,” he says. “I have always excelled at science and math and I feel bio engineering is a great path to use these tools. It is also a path to pre-med so there will be a lot of opportunity”/

Choosing a college is by no means a one week or even a one month process. Jamie, Poppy, Cece, and Anthony each are paving their own routes for the future. However, I think they all have one thing they can agree on: no part of this process is easy.

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