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Seniors on the College Advising Process 2019

Key seniors were asked to share their reflections, experiences and advice with members of the Junior class as they prepare to embark on the college selection journey.


Grace Jones

Georgia Institute of Technology
Biochemistry

"it might feel like you'll never be done taking tests or writing supplements; but you will and when you start getting those acceptances back, you'll feel so good."

Advice from Grace

How has Key prepared you for college?

I think, along with providing a wide array of activities to balance our academics, Key has really helped with my writing skills. Writing well is a critical part of your college application because it is the only chance you get to show your personality and inner thoughts. Being able to convey what you think and feel is an invaluable skill that the Civ Departments really prepares you for.

What is your intended area of study?

I want to major in biochemistry with a minor in anthropology. My dream job would be creating and patenting new pharmaceuticals.

Looking back over the past two years, what stands out as the most important thing(s) you did to find a college?

I think a few visits are helpful (although you certainly don't have to visit every school apply to.) I was lucky to find a major I was passionate about early on, which helped me narrow down my college search. In addition, I had to do a lot of self-reflecting to decide what college factors were important to me and that helped steer my choice as well.

Now that you are done, what advice do you have for juniors and their parents as they embark on their college search?

First, you'll get through it, I promise. It might feel like you'll never be done taking standardized tests or writing supplements, but you will and when you do and you start getting those acceptances back, you'll feel so good. Also, it's important to apply to places that you would be happy going to. Don't worry about whether people know the name of the school or what other people have to say about it, because they're not the ones who will be there for 4+ years, it's you.

How did you make a decision about what college to attend?

It was a combination of the majors Georgia Tech offered, location, travel abroad program, and an admitted students visit where I listened to a professor talk about synthesizing chemicals produced by sea sponges to make new medicines that completely sold me.

What were you most looking for in a college when you started your search? What ended up being most important as you made your final decision?

I knew I wanted to be in a big city, so most of the colleges I applied to were in major cities and I also knew I wanted to study abroad. Georgia Tech is in Atlanta and had a study abroad program that linked with my major and would allow me to gain credits while traveling.

What did you find most helpful about the college advising process at Key?

Definitely the summer college prep camp, which was so helpful and the way Laura was always checking up on us in grade meetings and college meetings. Having Laura constantly sending us resources and reminding us of important dates really helped me stay on track.

image of Megan Filter
Craig Martien

Williams College
International Relations

"Win or lose, every single student who is passionate about their future will find their way."

Advice from Craig

How has Key prepared you for college?

Key School, from the age of four, has allowed me to come to love learning for learning's sake, and to embrace my education as something which can and should be enjoyed. I do not know any other school, but I do know Key has shaped me in more ways than I can say, as a student who is excited for what lies ahead. While I have yet to step foot in a college class, I am confident that I will be able to go anywhere next year and be successful.

What is your intended area of study?

I have always been intensely drawn to travel, governance, and foreign language. I see myself, as of now, heading into a field related to diplomacy and international relations. I intend to continue to study Spanish and other languages.

What is the most important thing you did to find a college?

While on the college search, I made sure to speak with as many alumni as possible in order to gain a first-person perspective into each school which interested me. I was frequently in touch with cousins and family friends, and I know that this insider knowledge greatly contributed to a better understanding of the colleges I pursued.

Do you have any advice for juniors?

To future seniors, I would advise them to never be discouraged by the game that is the college process. From experience, I know the deep lows of this game, and I wish that I had listened to those around me when they told me that everything would be alright. In the end, some luck fell my way, but if it had not, I know that my formerly disappointing options, in hindsight, were very promising. Win or lose, every single student who is passionate about their future will find their way.

How did you make your final decision?

All of my decisions were made by visiting each of my college options one more time after receiving their decisions. These tours did not have to be long or extremely comprehensive because just a short time spent looking at a college through a new lens, that this may be where you go for a few years of your life, is helpful in creating a sense of whether or not I could see myself there.

What was the most important factor that influenced your decision?

At the beginning, I was dead-set on whether or not a college had a grand reputation. When I began writing my applications, however, I found that what was most important to me was not the name of the school, but the identity. At that point, I started asking better questions about the feel of each school, and whether I could see myself succeeding there in more ways than only academically.

What was the most helpful part of the college advising process at Key?

The most helpful aspect of the college advising process at Key is being able to have a one-on-one chat with Laura. This year, I have been able to solve a multitude of issues by speaking with her and forming a solid game plan before taking action.

Paige Nespole

Bucknell University
Pre-Med, Neuroscience & Biochemistry

"Going through doubtful staGES in this process is inevitable, and also completely necessary. In the end there really is a right place for everyone."

Advice from Paige

How has Key prepared you for college?

Key has provided me with academic opportunities that I know I would not have had the privilege to receive anywhere else. The rigors of the curriculum have truly prepared me for college level learning, and the mentality that Key has instilled, that I can truly be anything and everything I want to be, is something I will carry with me over the next four years.

What is your intended area of study?

I intend to pursue a pre-Med track where I hope to study neuroscience and biochemistry.

Looking back over the past two years, what stands out as the most important thing(s) you did to find a college?

I invested a lot of time in recognizing what I truly wanted. I feel that was the most important step. I also revisited my top choice schools and tried to envision myself on a campus and think about how much I could contribute in a community, toward the end of the process.

Now that you are done, what advice do you have for juniors and their parents as they embark on their college search?

It is okay to second guess what you want. Going through doubtful stages in this process is inevitable, and also completely necessary because in the end there really is a right place for everyone.

How did you make a decision about what college to attend?

I applied to my school under an Early Decision contract so my decision was pretty smooth when it came down to it all!

What were you most looking for in a college when you started your search? What ended up being most important as you made your final decision?

I was looking for a place with notable academics as well as intense research opportunities. There were many schools that fulfilled these two things on my list, however when it came down to it, the most important thing was that I needed a place where I felt supported and encouraged. While competition is a necessary part of an education, and I wanted to attend a university that was challenging, the environment still needed to feel like a community where students encouraged and supported each other, rather than independently compete with one another. I am lucky to have found just that.

What did you find most helpful about the college advising process at Key?

Starting early! Getting an idea of exactly what I needed to do and having all the necessary resources at an early stage really helped to ease me through the process.

image of Lauren Neville

Alex Reichardt

University of Oregon
Marine Biology and Art

"In the end, what became important was the energy i felt on campus and whether or not I felt like I fit in."

Advice from Alex

How has Key prepared you for college?

Key has taught me how to be a diligent and thoughtful student. I feel very ready for the course load ahead.

What is your intended area of study?

I plan to major in Marine Biology with a possible minor in art.

What stands out as the most important thing you did to find a college?

The most important thing I did was go visit the colleges I was seriously considering. It ended up becoming the reason I chose my school.

Now that you're done, what advice do you have for juniors and their parents as they embark on their college search?

Stay on top of things! It's easy to fall behind and feel overwhelmed so make sure you're spending enough time focusing on the college application process. Go to the summer camp! And most importantly, have fun, this really is a fun time.

How did you make a decision about which college to attend?

I followed my gut. I was lucky enough to have a choice between some great schools and I decided to go where I thought I would be happiest.

What were you most looking for in a college when you started your search? What ended up being most important as you made your decision?

I was looking for a great marine biology program because that was obviously a major part of my search. In the end, what became important (after the academic program) was the energy I felt on campus and whether or not I felt like I fit in.

What was the most helpful part of the college advising process at Key?

The summer camp! It really helped me get ahead of work and spend time really thinking about what I wanted to write my paper about.