Story by Alexandria Sessions, Photos by Michelle Lane

Colleges all across the nation want to celebrate seniors for their acceptance into the college of their choice. By doing so, Dr. Donna Huger, Director of School Counseling and the rest of the counseling staff, come together to create a celebratory environment and get students excited about their college choices and futures.  

“As far as counselors go, the planning that we do, we contact the colleges that we know the students got accepted to and we invite them to come,” Dr. Huger said. “We invite them also to bring in paraphilia from their colleges and if they can’t come we ask that they send us some things that we can share with the students that have been accepted to their college.”

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Even though colleges come in to congratulate acceptees, their job is not done. The counselors also work on creating various activities for the seniors during College Decision day.

“As far as on our end we try to think of the activities and things that the seniors can do that are related to graduating and being accepted to college,” Dr. Huger said. “So you might see the photo frame and the backdrop and we do things like the drawing of the prizes and that kind of stuff.”

The students feel that the counselor’s involvement in the graduating process and College Decision Day is great.

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“I love that fact that Dutch Fork is getting involved, I think that since they are getting involved it makes a bigger impact on you as a student and it allows you to connect with the colleges that you’re going too,” senior Ford Williams said.

With the excitement flowing through seniors and graduation on the horizon, the admission counselors hope the upcoming seniors feel good about their decisions and the graduating process.

“Really at this point, we’re hoping to be able to celebrate the students it’s a long process it’s a hard process.”Admission officer for University of South Carolina, Rob McCartha said, “So if it makes juniors for next year excited about applying to college that’s awesome but being able to get our current students who decide to attend the university excited about that next step in their life.”

The Admission offices and counselors are aware of the long drawn out process and offer some advice for rising juniors. However, when it comes to the process itself the Admission officers really push for the student to start as early as freshman year.

“I would say start looking for your schools early so during freshman [and] sophomore year go ahead and start touring your schools that way when it comes to your junior and senior year, you can start to just kind of narrowing down if you want a small school or if you like bigger schools,”  College admission counselor of Lander university Ashley Hill said, “Kinda know like if you pay in-state tuition, out of state tuition, that way in senior year you’ll be more focused on deadlines for the school you know you’re going to attend.” But for seniors that have already chosen their choice of school, they provide words of wisdom and advice for rising seniors and juniors, when the day comes for them to go to college and make the same decision.

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“Apply for college early and write your essays over the summer because I turned my college application in the day they were due and it wasn’t the best decision,” senior Grayson Galloway said.

It’s also important to stay focus on your own decision.

“Follow your heart and not follow other people’s influences and it’s like your choice and it’s a really big decision so you just gotta make the right one,” Ford said.

However, if a student is looking forward to college and doesn’t know where to start, maybe researching in-state schools is a great place to begin.

“Of course our students apply across the nation but as far as our most popular colleges that our student applied to will have to be our in-state schools,” Dr. Huger said.  “There can be USC, College of Charleston, some of our HBCUs like Claflin University, South Carolina State, and Winthrop.”

What really makes College Decision Day exciting is the last chapter of high school.

“I guess I’m just ready to graduate,” Grayson said, “and get high school over with and move on to college.”

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