Story by Rebekah Street, Robin Hendricks, and Anna-Maria Gardiner

Students swarm all over the gym, frantically trying to find their favorite college’s table.

The fact that college is just around the corner is starting to hit many upperclassmen, causing some to be excited for a new adventure and others to be stressed to the max with making such an important decision.

From the University of Alabama to the University of South Carolina, Dutch Fork invites over  70 different colleges from all over the southeast.

“We have the college fair each year because there are some students at the school who don’t have the time or the money to do college visits,” guidance assistant Katherine Turnage said. “This way they can explore some options and ask any questions that they may have.”

The chance to talk to admission representatives greatly benefits students as they apply to prospective schools.

“I think the college fair is a good idea for seniors because it opens our eyes to more opportunities and schools that we may not have heard about,” senior Madison Campanella said. “Some colleges give out useful information that make the college application process easier.”

The college representatives visiting this year are coming with a goal to promote their college/university and entice more students to submit applications.

Kenneth Shuler Schools of Cosmetology representative, Mackenzie Taylor,  is joining the college fair this year to let students know what their school has to offer.

“We came here to try to find more students who are interested in the wonderful cosmetology industry,” Taylor said. “We know a lot of high school students are in the process of deciding their careers and we would like to steer them towards the beauty industry.”

Many college representatives at the college fair each year have been successful in creating a lasting impression on students as they travel from table to table.

“Last year I went to the table for Wofford and I got answers to a lot of questions,” senior Andrew Brehmer said. “I’m still really interested in Wofford and have started applying there, so I recommend that all juniors go visit the college fair because when it comes time to actually apply, you will want to know as much information as possible.”

Several teachers, including graduation advisor Allison Norwood, recommend that all juniors and seniors should explore the different options offered at the college fair, even if they have already decided on where they want to go.

“Students should always be open to exploring different options. I think it’s always important to have a plan B, and very often a C or a D,” Norwood said.

As this year’s college fair approaches and representatives start setting up their booths, students’ futures seem closer than ever.

“The fact that I’ll be visiting college fair this year as a senior really has made me realize how close college really is,” senior Kendall Potter said, “but I’m excited for what the future holds.”