Preparing for Graduation

By: Brittany Smith 

   As we are getting into the new school year, the seniors are starting to prepare for graduation. There is a lot of things the seniors have to do to make sure they are on track to graduate. Lucky for us, we have a new guidance counselor, Mrs. Hahn to help guide the way. The Squire recently interviewed her and asked her some questions that will help the seniors out.  

     The first topic we asked Mrs. Hahn about was some good tips for applying to colleges. She recommended, “Every college has their applications online. First research and discover how they want you to apply to their school.  Many will allow you to use a fee waiver if you visit the school.  There are also services like the Common App, which allows you to put your information in and then apply to multiple schools at one time.” 

     It’s very important to know what requirements you need to graduate this year. The Squire asked Mrs. Hahn what seniors need. She shared that, “Seniors this year need the following credits:  4 English, 4 History, 3/4 Science or Math (three of one and four of the other), 1 PE Credit, Health, Computer, Tech and 6.5 credits of electives.  If you are a career center student you only need 3 History, 3 math and 3 sciences.” Make sure you have everything you need to graduate this year seniors. If you are unsure of whether you have the requirements met, check with the guidance office to see how many credits you have completed and how many you need. 

     When you apply to colleges, they may ask you for your SAT or ACT scores. While some colleges don’t require you to have them, some students may want to take them, just in case. A lot of people don’t know which one they want to take, so we asked Mrs. Hahn which one she recommends, and she explained, “​It really comes to personal preference.  I prefer the ACT.  The ACT has a Science section that does not test general science knowledge but your ability to problem solve real life situations (STEM-like situations).  You can also use a calculator on all Math sections on the ACT, whereas the SAT is limited to what sections you can use a calculator on.  You should take practice test in both to see which one you do better on.  Neither will be “easy,” but the ACT typically is favored by people who like language/history and the SAT is preferred by those who like Math.” We also asked her for some tips she has on taking the SAT’s and ACT’s, she suggested, “Use the free software that is available to study with.  Khan Academy will give you a practice test and then provide remedial lessons on the areas in which you need help. The night before the test, get a good night’s sleep, eat a hearty breakfast, and take a good snack for break time–and a water bottle.  When you are dehydrated, you get tired and can get a headache.  Avoid that by drinking fluids.” 

     Lastly, Mrs. Hahn gave the seniors a few additional tips, “Start this process early.  Ask questions now.  Go visit schools now.  Fill out applications early.  There are thousands of kids across the country applying to schools for next year.  It is better to be one of the early ones getting accepted than waiting until the last minute and taking the spots that are left in schools.  Additionally, applying early means that you can focus on scholarships for the second half of the year.” 

     With preparing for graduation and the next step of moving on to life outside of high school, senior year can be stressful. Just make it fun for yourself and make sure you’re doing everything you need to graduate. If you have any questions or need someone to talk to, you can always go to Mrs. Hahn. 

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