The Westlake High School class of 2013 left behind a gift for their younger classmates--a banner representing the colleges and schools they will attend after graduation.
The seniors hope it will serve as motivation for the class of 2014. Guidance counselor Loyce Engle says she wants students to remember during their college search that is not all about the school’s reputation.
“The goal should be to find that school, or number of schools, that have an environment that the student would be successful in,” Engle said. “So it’s a great match between the student and the college.”
Landon Simpkins got his college applications completed early, and he says his main priority was finding a place he would enjoy.
“When I walked around the campus it felt like I could live there, and that’s much more important than the academics, I felt like I could thrive there,” he said.
Engle says it’s also important for students to let their own personality shine in their college essays, instead of writing what they think school officials want to hear.
“There’s that pressure, and stress, some of it is self-imposed, however, we tell students that if you only apply to schools that you’ll be happy to attend, it’ll be a win-win,” she said.
As for parents, it’s great to get involved, but know when to back off.
“Keeping the parents involved is a plus, even though it doesn’t seem like it," Landon said. "They’ll help push you to get it done."
Engle says it’s a great idea for parents to set a time once a week to check in with their senior to see how the application process it coming, but resist the urge to nag every day.