As college draws near, FHC seniors are filled with feelings of hope and heartache


Madi Grimaldi

A picture of Mady and her dad at the college she will soon be attending: Grand Valley State University

If senior Caroline Logan could take one thing to college, it would be an elephant.

However, hers will not be a nine-foot-tall elephant, but a two-foot-tall one she holds near and dear to her heart.

“I have a two-foot stuffed animal—a stuffed elephant,” Caroline said. “It’s just become a comfort thing for me, so that is probably what I’d take.”

Deciding what college to go to—or even if college is the right decision for the future—is a big decision. With early applications for college having been due and other application deadlines approaching, it is a decision that the seniors have to figure out.

As the countdown to the last day of high school and the beginning of college gets lower and lower, a plethora of mixed emotions builds up within the senior student body. 

“I’m definitely excited,” Caroline said. “I’m mostly nervous [about college] because I have no idea what I want to do, [and] I feel like all my interests are very widespread and broad. I guess I’m most nervous about what I’m going to major in”

Whether one applies to a college far away or close by, it is still a significant change in many people’s lives. With this change comes certain worries. Even so, that does not mean that worry is the only sentiment seniors have for university—especially for senior Mady Grimaldi.

Feelings of apprehension are, oftentimes, accompanied by the sensation of anticipation and excitement for what will come.

“I’m excited for the freedom that comes with college like getting out [and] being on my own,” Mady said. “I’m excited to meet new people and live with a roommate; I think that is exciting. It’s something I’ve dreamed about for a long time.”

I’m excited to meet new people and live with a roommate; I think that is exciting. It’s something I’ve dreamed about for a long time”

— Mady Grimaldi

Although many people look forward to the future with an optimistic eye, many are also overcome with nostalgia as they reminisce about the memories they have made and the good times they shared.

Mady will miss numerous things when she moves away to college, but like many others, the people she holds close will be the thing she misses the most.

“I’ll miss the comfort of being at home, seeing my family every single day, and having the routine that I’ve had for four years,” Mady said. “It’s going to be completely different now. It’s going to be a big change, but I think my friends are going to be the biggest thing [that I’ll miss].”

Even though many seniors sent in their applications for colleges’ early decision, there is still a profusion of students who have yet to send in their applications. Throughout the application process, the counselors, like counselor Sarah Van’t Hof, work tirelessly to help students apply to various colleges. 

Each universities requirements vary per university, but Van’t Hof’s advice for each of them stays consistent.

“One of the most important things to consider is purpose and intention,” Van’t Hof said. “Whenever we do any post-secondary planning with students, if it’s they want to go to college or they want to pursue a career or any other training program immediately after graduation, we want them to have purpose and intention.”

Finding a job suited to one’s wants and needs is not always a linear line: it is more of a winding road. Many people discover things about their careers along their journey of discovering themselves.

Consequently, some people end up changing career paths—which can result in a positive change.

“[Changing careers is] never a negative thing; it’s always learning,” Van’t Hof said. “Learning is always positive. I think it’s a big ask when we ask young people to know ‘what do you want to do for the rest of your life or the next 30 years of your life?’”

College is only the first significant accomplishment of the cornucopia of milestones that the seniors will achieve.

It is the small butterfly that causes a ripple effect down the road of life: a change affecting their future.

“I think that change is always positive, and it’s good to get out of your comfort zone,” Caroline said. “I think there are parts of high school that I will miss—[especially my] friends—but I think that change always needs to happen at some point.”