Why College Visits Are So Important For High School Students

College Tours Are More Than Just An Escape From The Classroom For High Schoolers

Touring colleges during high school is very helpful for seniors who just don't have the time to go on their own.

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Recently, the College Coach for Russellville High School planned a day for the juniors and seniors to tour Austin Peay's campus. Our coach and a group of students loaded onto the bus and traveled to Clarksville, Tennessee.

Our busy day began immediately upon arrival.

The tour guide led us from the Ellington Student Service Building on a trajectory to the Morgan University Center. The group was taken to a meeting room where an admissions advisory gave a presentation and answered questions. The total cost for an in-state freshman is around $20,000. Austin Peay offers multiple scholarships to its students and once an applicant clicks submit on their application, they'll automatically be registered for any eligible scholarship or financial aid.

College students can participate in more than 130 student clubs and organizations.

An average class usually has 24 students, so if you're not a fan of the big universities this could be the place for you. Students have a choice of over 53 bachelor's degree programs or 22 master's degree programs.

Once the presentation was over and questions were answered, the group went back outside and met their next tour guide who accompanied us for rest of the day. She was a theatre major which explained her energetic spirit. She led us around campus, telling stories and educating the students about all the buildings and resources they provide on campus.

We were surprised by the ample amount of diversity at the college. The juniors and seniors were even able to interact with a college student and hear her talk about her project to bringing awareness to domestic violence. We continued and toured several residential buildings until they came to the spot from where they began.

It was a fun, enjoyable and educational day for us high school students.

Our coach rewarded the students by taking them out to eat at the highly-recommended Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers. All the students were very respectful and showed a lot of interest.

Keep your eyes out because one of our own seniors might attend Austin Peay in the coming 2019-2020 year!

Also last Friday, Gate Students and Book Club members attended the second annual Youth Adult Southern (YAS) Book Con. Ms. Nancy Skipworth, Mrs. Lauren Fynboe and Ms. Jessie Nugent traveled with the students to Western Kentucky University where the event commenced at 9:00 a.m. in the Downing Student Union.

Free t-shirts were handed out to the students before they ventured off on their own to interact with a room full of authors. The authors' genres ranged from romance, fantasy, fiction, crime and much more. RHS students were able to personally talk with authors and gain insight into the world of publishing.

Throughout the day, numerous panel reviews and workshops were held for people to learn about the skills of creative writing. Several students purchased books from authors at the event and traveled back to school with knowledge, books and full bellies.

The event was very beneficial for the students who aspire to become authors themselves or those that just like to read. The students chose to eat at a restaurant on the campus such as Chik-Fil-A or Steak & Shake. Near the event's end, we explored the campus and met new people.

The trip was amazing and then we had an absolutely great time! Special thanks to the teachers that went on the field trip and made it possible for the students going on such a fun trip!

It's always great to experience a good time at school. Most students believe school is boring, but when administrators and teachers make an attempt to make the experience enjoyable it makes students more proactive.

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Dear Soon-To-Be Seniors

These are a few things we'd like to tell you about Senior year.
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Dear soon-to-be high school seniors,

Goodbye. As the class of ahead of you, we've watched you grow, always one step behind us. As we graduate, there are some things I'd like to tell you about your last year of high school.

Yes, Senior year can be just as amazing as everyone says it is, if you make it that way. But don't think it's a blow-off year with no work. This year may hold some of the most stressful times of your life.Be prepared for late nights writing papers or hard tests that could make or break your graduation status. However, don't stress too much about homework. A question I often asked myself this year was, "in twenty years, will I remember staying up till 2am studying for Econ? Or will I remember a fun night with my friends?" Ok, probably not the best advice if you don't have the best of grades, but most of the time you stress yourself out for no reason and miss out on fun things.

Another thing, try to get on the college grind early. If you haven't already, start looking at colleges and applying! Then narrow it down as soon as you can. You don't want to be stressed about that decision in the last month of senior year. Honestly, the sooner you can make your decision, the happier and less stressed you will probably be.

It's not too late to join new things either; a lot of people join a sport or a club senior year and have a lot of fun because of it. So try that thing you've always wanted to join! Speaking of which, go to prom! I won't tell you prom is the best experience of your life because for some people it's not, but it's pretty amazing. Don't stress too much about getting a date, either the right guy/girl will show up, or you'll just go with your friends and still have a blast.

Don't be too rude to the underclassmen. You were that young just a few years ago. And they're the ones who usually put your senior nights together, so make sure you thank them. Also keep in mind that they are looking up to you. Remember those seniors you looked up to just a few short years ago? Be a good example. Take your place in the school as Seniors and continue where we left off; carry on the legacy of your school and be proud of it.

If your school does Kairos (or a similar senior retreat), be absolutely open to it! If it's your thing, enjoy it! If it's not your thing, still try to be open to it. You don't have to love it, but at least don't hate on it before you've even been. Bonding with your class is a big part of senior year. I made so many new friends this year that I never thought I would if it hadn't been for Kairos.

Speaking of which, be open to new friends. Whether they're seniors or not, talk to everyone. In a few months, you may never see those kids again, so it's worth getting to know them past just being friends on Facebook. Also, don't give up on dating people in your class. Yeah, there's only a few months left and you've spent the last 4 years with these people, but there might be one person out there who could change your whole year for the better if you give them the chance.

Above all, enjoy it. You only get one senior year, so make it count. Go to everything you possibly can: every football game, dance, party, musical, bonfire, etc. Enjoy wearing the jersey of your team for the last time, taking your last bow on your high school stage, and turning in your last final, because it will all be gone within the blink of an eye. You'll find yourself walking down the aisle in a cap and gown of those same school colors you thought you despised (but really, you'll secretly miss). You'll look at your favorite teachers lined up behind you and your family sitting in front of you, and most importantly your class around you, and I hope, I really hope, you don't regret a single moment of senior year.

Cover Image Credit: Anna Skog

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Things I Miss Now That I'm Home From College Again

There are so many reasons to be glad that the school year is over, but if you've done it right... there are a lot of reasons to miss it too.

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So, school is over now and I've come home. As expected I was so relieved at first. No more showering with flip-flops, no more listening to screaming girls running up and down the hall, and a space that is mine and mine alone. But after a week or so of being back, there are a few things I've already started to miss.

I know that not every single person has the ideal roommate but I got really lucky with mine. Coming home I was excited to have my own space, but now when I'm doing my midnight scrolling, I'm realizing that I miss being able to talk to her about the funny things I see in that very moment. Tagging, DMing, and texting her doesn't feel the same as a long night of giggles spent together.

Also, while seeing old friends when you get home is amazing, and there is always a lot to catch up on, you do start to miss your other friends too. Being in college means that your friends are going through similar things as you are all the time. You have tests together, clubs together, and sometimes you spend way too much time procrastinating together. The bond you begin to form is one you definitely begin to miss - especially when you guys don't live close off of campus.

Coming home also means you don't have a set schedule or at least not immediately. You may come back to a previous job and that puts something on your calendar, but the free time you still have during the week can be a little too much. I know I've spent way too much time obsessing over the Tati/James drama than I ever would have at school. The routine I had at school kept me busy and entertained, and I'm honestly missing it a lot right now.

There are a lot of other things to miss too - even things you thought you wouldn't. You miss the classes, the teachers, and sometimes the food. I know I miss the environment. It isn't a perfect one, but it's full of people just trying to find their way. We are all working through the roller coaster of life and we are all stuck on one beautiful campus together while we figure it all out. I miss meeting new people at the bus stops or running into old classmates and catching up.

I guess the bonus for me is that I just finished sophomore year which means I have more time to spend at school. Come senior year, I guess I'll have to learn quickly how to deal without the things I miss - and also create a schedule so I can travel to see all of my friends, but those are all problems for future me.

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