The Start of Something New


Photo by Rosemary Sui

A display of the colleges the class of 2020 has been accepted into.

The LOTAs in the class of 2021 are starting to plan for their lives after Holy Cross. Every year, juniors officially begin their college process following their winter break.

The process typically starts during the eleventh grade to get the students to start thinking about college. It allows them to get ahead in the process by arranging to meet with their designated college counselors. 

Juniors are feeling a mix of different emotions with the start of this new chapter of their lives. “It’s my future so everything has to be perfect, literally,” junior Emanda Bisrat said. She expressed her nervousness and excitement—feelings many of the juniors share. 

Although she feels the same, junior Ciara Switzer expressed her surprise. “It’s not as bad as I thought it would be so far,” she admitted. As part of her preparation, Switzer has visited schools such as Boston University and University of Virginia.

Similarly, Bisrat has gone on numerous college visits and is planning to go on more. In addition to college visits, she is preparing while in school. “I’m catering my schedule for next year to prepare me for my potential major in college,” Bisrat stated. 

Along with the students’ own preparations, such as going on campus visits and studying for the standardized tests, are the one-on-one meetings with the college counselors. Kelly Tarini, Director of College Counseling, explained that the student and the counselor meet to go over the general parameters of what they look for in a college. Then a college list based on what they talk about is formulated by the counselors for the students to start exploring possible colleges.

“We help students really narrow down what exactly it is that they’re vocalizing–that they’re looking for and turning that into specific schools,” said Tarini. 

Among the main concerns the juniors have is the testing involved in the process. Other concerns include keeping up their grades, as well as balancing school and college applications. Although the class of 2021 have many worries concerning this process, Tarini explained that they appear positive and well-prepared to the counselors. “Everybody kind of has a direction in some capacity,” she revealed. 

After years of helping students with this process, Tarini has seen a variety of cases and experiences. “Do a little bit at a time,” advised Tarini. She explained that is exactly how they model the process–one step at a time. 

“We’ll make this process the least stressful as possible,” reassured Tarini.