My fellow Westlake seniors, whether we want to admit it or not, graduation is approaching faster than we think which means time to start looking into college! I know what you’re thinking, but wait, this is an exciting time of year! Thinking about college and our futures can indeed be stressful but that’s why we have (drum roll, please) college week! College week is taking place November 12-16 and is meant for any current senior at Westlake. Whether you’ve already been accepted somewhere, already started your applications, or haven’t even looked into college yet, there will be something at college week for you. 

If you’re a stressed senior like me and have no idea what the future holds for you, don’t fret because that’s exactly why college week exists. At college week, there are many resources available to us to help us figure out what we want our futures to be. Trust me, I know the pressure we feel this time of year to know exactly where we want to attend college and what we want to study, but that’s not something we have to necessarily know right now or even on college night. That’s exactly why we have college week! It’s to help us discover what we want for our futures. As said by one of our counselors here at Westlake, Susan Barney, “I would also like them to know that they don’t have to know exactly what they want to do or be before they go to college. They just need to know they want something more.” If all you know is simply that you want to go to college after high school, that’s enough! 

During college week, seniors have the opportunity to talk with all kinds of people that can assist them in figuring out what colleges they are interested in and what majors sound interesting to them. College week is all about exploring and getting to learn things about college that you may have not known before. Even if you’re pretty sure what college you’d like to go to, that doesn’t mean you still can’t explore other colleges. In fact, it’s very important to explore other colleges to see what’s out there and to see what each individual college offers. Right now, it may seem like all colleges are “the same”, but I can guarantee that each college has something unique about it that separates it from other schools. Mrs. Barney also stated, “There is so much out there and so many opportunities, especially in Utah, that students need to get out there and take a look at their opportunities.” College week is just a small but vital portion of discovering the many opportunities we have that Mrs. Barney is talking about. Being able to recognize and learn about these opportunities will really bring that college excitement to life and help us realize as seniors that we have thrilling experiences ahead. 

In case you’re confused about what goes on during college week and what it entails, let me tell you! On November 14th and 15th, the counselors will be coming in to each of the 12th grade and AP English classes for the first 30 minutes of class. During this 30 minutes, the counselors will provide us with free college application codes and will help us seniors apply to Snow, Dixie, and SUU for free. They will also be talking about Regents, FAFSA, and all other Utah applications. Also, on November 14th during parent teacher conferences, Utah college application advisers from each Utah college and a FAFSA representative will be at Westlake to help seniors complete their college applications. All of this and other activities will take place from 3-8 pm. And in case you’re worried that the college you’re interested in won’t be there, don’t fret because all of the main colleges and universities in Utah will indeed be there: BYU, Dixie State, MTECH, SLCC, Snow College, SUU, U of U, USU, UVU, Weber State, and Westminster. All of these schools in attendance will have all the information you could possibly need to know about their campuses and what kinds of things they individually offer.

Seniors, we should be excited about this new chapter of life that we have coming up! This is our futures. This is the time that we get to choose for ourselves what we want and how we will approach our goals to make them happen! All of these years of school are finally paying off and culminating into something so much bigger and rewarding. Although school isn’t coming to a complete end quite yet, college is full of so many new experiences and things we get to look forward to. “We feel college week is extremely important,” says Mrs. Barney, “because it gives seniors the opportunity to plan for their future, see what’s out there, and to see which college is best fit for them.”

My fellow seniors, this is our year. We are the future. We can make an impact for generations to come. Everyone will know who we are.