College: A Bittersweet Change


It’s hard. It’s scary. It’s life changing. College is a big step towards finding that career we’ve always dreamed about. And for some seniors at East, they already know exactly what they intend to do. “After high school I’m going to pursue a career in Honda/Acura automotive technology,” said Evan Renslow (’17). “I want to go to Penn State Technical College in Pennsylvania.”

Going to college is a difficult step for some seniors, and that’s okay. It means leaving a group of people you’ve gone to school with for four years or more. It means leaving friends, but it also involves making new ones. It’s a bittersweet change, some would say. Others would describe it as a path to freedom.

Most would say though, the hardest thing about college preparation is completing applications. Carla Garcia (‘17) is most worried about “paying for the application and getting rejected.” She told us that she’s “applying to Appalachian State University, University of North Carolina Greensboro, and University of North Carolina Charlotte.” 

Many East students applied to App, UNCG, and UNCC last year as well. Actually, there’s a variety of in-state schools East students applied to last year! Appalachian State, East Carolina, Forsyth Tech, Guilford Tech, UNC Charlotte, UNC Greensboro, UNC Wilmington, and self-employment were among the top choices of students from the class of 2016, according to EFHS Student Services. In total there are 140 colleges and universities scattered from one end of North Carolina to the other, according to, and there are approximately 358,988 full-time students attending these colleges.

For Seniors, college tours are a huge part of taking that leap of faith towards the next chapter in their lives. The tours let you experience the campus size and location, the town around the campus, and the school’s atmosphere or “fit.” Jenna Stottler (‘17) said, “I’ve toured App State, Wingate, UNCG, and UNCW and fell in love with all of them. Every campus had a different atmosphere, but I felt like I would fit right in with any of them once I make my choice.”

College tours are constantly happening, excluding holidays, and are a great thing to sign up for when visiting a school. Many students think they will love a campus based on what they hear from other students or from a school’s website, but when they get to the university itself, their expectations fall short.

So, before you dive headfirst into applying to a college, make sure to check it out! If you have friends that go there, see what they love and don’t love. Make sure it’s the place you can call home for the next four years of your life.

Categories: Clubs & School Happenings, FEATURES

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