Seniors look forward to their college acceptance

As the cycle continues throughout the school, many are paying their farewells to Grayslake North. College commitments spread contagiously throughout the school as seniors are finalizing plans to enter adulthood.

For seniors, this time of year can be one of the most memorable experiences in their high school career. Commitments take place left and right as others begin to say goodbye to the life and home they’ve made here. Counselors finish guiding their students on the path to success and let them take it from there.

“The season right now that we’re in – late April and into May – is busy in the counseling office, getting graduation requirements finalized, supporting students with their graduation requirements. If any struggling students are academically struggling or struggling to meet those graduation requirements, but yes, it’s always busy. It’s almost like each month, each six weeks, there’s a new priority, and getting everyone across the finish line to graduation is a priority in addition to other freshmen, sophomores, and juniors,” said counselor Courtney Plaza.

“This time of year is busy, but also exciting. There’s anticipation for graduation, anticipation for the summer. And also it’s a lot of supporting students who will be going away for the first time and helping those students find support that will be outside the walls of Grayslake North,” Plaza said.
Excitement fills the air as college letters arrive. The satisfaction of watching hard work pay off is a continuous feeling for many seniors. The college acceptance process is very lengthy, making these acceptance moments even more crucial. One of the many big acceptances this year was Varun Gullapalli at Stanford.

“The process started freshman year because I knew getting into a top college was something I always wanted. So it started with like signing up for harder classes, getting involved, and finding what you’re passionate about. Then the real college admissions process began, which is the essays, and the applications. I started in early June with my essay, and then it didn’t end until late November, the middle of December,” said senior Varun Gullapalli.

“I honestly thought it was a mistake. I opened the letter and I just screamed. It’s just such an amazing feeling knowing that something you worked toward, something that you like, you didn’t think you were going to get, and it came to you. A few months after they sent a little note saying that they loved my application. That moment was when I realized it wasn’t a mistake that they wanted me and that I’m someone worthy of acceptance.”

Every process is different. Depending on where one is going, other steps might need to take place to accomplish what they set out to do. Senior Zion Hodges explains his personal experience with college acceptance, focusing primarily on the sports aspect.

“First, you get in touch with the coaches. Then, if they like you, if they want you, they offer you with that you have to be accepted into the school. And then after that they kind of work with the school to see how much money the school wants to give you,” Hodges said.

“I committed a little bit after football ended. A lot of D3 schools because I’m focused on football. Kind of depends on what you want to go for. I’d say more than 20 though. Oh, man, I remember I was at Dollar General buying some crayons for my sister and I got the email, and I just remember sitting there and disbelief. It was truly like, you know?” Hodges said.

Reflections follow all parties involved as the process ends. In many people’s opinion, this time of year was a huge success.

“Yeah, I’m excited about my acceptance. I think any advice I would give is just to find what you’re passionate about. Find what you’re interested in and just like challenge yourself,” Gullapalli said.

“I am very proud. I’d be the first person in my family to go to college. Take grades seriously, all of them. Doesn’t matter if it’s a math class or a PE class, take it all seriously because it counts,” Hodges said.