The waiting is the hardest part: Lewis seniors apply to colleges


Carina Ibrahim

For Lewis seniors, like Besu Desta (seen here), the 2022-23 school year has been a time of planning for college and careers, applying, and waiting for answers.

Saad Ali and Elise Clark, Guest Writer and Interviewer

As the college season begins to wrap up, seniors start to think about their plans for the future, whether they want to attend college or not. If they want to attend college there are going to be many steps that lie ahead of them.

Senior Emily Clark has applied to VCU, Virginia Tech, UVA, Old Dominion, GMU, Rochester Institute of Technology, and is in the process of applying to the U.S. Naval Academy. Clark plans to study in the engineering field but is undecided on which type. 

“I’m going to major in either chemical engineering or mechanical engineering. But I’m also on the track to being just engineering undecided,” Clark said.

Senior Ali Omar has applied to GMU and VCU. “And yes, I got accepted to both,” Omar said.

Senior Alberto Bowmen has not yet applied to college. However, Bowmen and Omar, hope to study in the same field: Cybersecurity.

Clark, Omar, and Bowmen all took the SAT, in order to prepare to apply to college, but they have different opinions of its worth. 

“I think the SAT is good at measuring your ability to study for tests. But I don’t think it’s a good measurement of someone’s intelligence, and I don’t think it claims to be either,” Clark said.

Omar took the SAT but is unsure of how useful his score will be to his application. “I thought it was pretty good. I don’t know if there was a point to taking it because most colleges don’t accept it, but I was fine with taking it,” Omar said.

The research that juniors and seniors must do before applying to college may take a while, but it will be worth it. There are many colleges and universities of all different sizes both within and outside of Virginia and many choices applicants must make during the application process. 

Clark used different resources to research colleges that interested her.

“First I started looking at a bunch of different websites to see my college options. I looked at this one website called Niche, which gives you a rating for the college and all the stats and all the stuff you need to apply. I also looked at College Board because they have a similar site that lets you track colleges you want to apply to, and it gives you a list of colleges in your area and colleges that match your SAT,” Clark said.

Some seniors may have not applied yet, and that’s okay because some students just need more time to weigh their options and make a decision. You also have to consider whether your college choices match your course of study goals. Bowmen is one senior still exploring options.

“I haven’t applied to any colleges yet. I’m trying to look for the right college,” Bowmen said.

Early decision is a procedure when students commit to their first choice college where, if they are accepted, they will unquestionably enroll and withdraw all other applications. Early action, on the other hand, just means that applicants are notified of the college’s decision long before other schools.

Clark, Omar, and Ali all share the same opinion and haven’t applied for early decision. They think that unless you already are certain as to which college you want to attend, regular decision is best for them.

By early March, many seniors have heard from some (but not all) colleges. As colleges respond,  it’s the students’ opportunity to make their final decisions.

In the early spring, seniors receive the news if they got accepted or not from colleges for regular decision. This winter, Clark said she has applied but hasn’t heard back from colleges yet. Bowmen, on the other hand, has not applied yet because he needs more time looking. Omar has applied and has heard the news back from two colleges saying he has been accepted.

Clark gives some advice to freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. “ I think if you’re a freshman, just focus on grades. Once you’re a sophomore or junior, start cleaning up your activities and make sure that you have a good resume to present the College Board with because otherwise, you might not get accepted into the school you want,” Clark said.

Both Bowmen and Omar stress the importance of keeping up with schoolwork. “You don’t have to get straight A’s but try your best in school. and Don’t slack off,” Omar said.

“Try to get at least B’s and pass every single class because if not, that’s going to bring your GPA down and make you have less, you know, opportunities later on in the future,” Bowmen said.

Clark, Omar, and Bowmen are just some of the hardworking seniors at Lewis. Their college application process took a while and sometimes required them to take time off from their school work just to work on applications. Looking back on their experiences, they recommend not slacking off on grades and having a clean resume. So underclassmen: make sure your grades are steady and make sure you challenge yourselves so you are a strong candidate for college.