Kate Black

Lemoore Middle College High School senior Kate Black received an acceptance letter to her "dream" school, Cal Poly, last month.

Contributed by Kate Black

LEMOORE — Most colleges and universities start sending out acceptance letters to high school seniors between mid-February and the end of March. By now, the anxiety for students about which colleges they got into has subsided and the excitement of getting into their “dream” school or choosing which school to attend has set in.

Lemoore Middle College High School counselor Ginny Chung said she finds students feeling stressed but also happy when they find out which schools they were accepted into, especially if the students had their mind set on a particular “dream” school.

As a counselor, Chung said she is there to give her input or answer any questions, thoughts or concerns the students have about college. If students choose not to go to Chung to talk about their college options, she can only assume they know what they’re doing and already have college plans figured out.

LMCHS senior Kate Black said she was accepted into her “dream” school, California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, a school she has wanted to attend for several years. She admitted the road to getting the acceptance letter was riddled with questions and emotions, and she definitely went to Chung stressed-out about various aspects of the college application process.

Black said after she applied to Cal Poly she was relieved that part was done because the application process was a bit laborious, but she had a good feeling she was going to get in. Then, the waiting to hear back from the school became stressful and a little nerve-wracking for her.

When Black’s acceptance letter — well, technically it was an acceptance email — finally came in last month, she said relief washed over her and she knew her hard work in school had finally paid off. She said her mother cried when she heard the news, and her brother was excited about her opportunity because he wanted her to go to Cal Poly as well.

Right now, Black said she’s anxious. She obviously feels great about going to Cal Poly, but she still has a few more months of high school to get through. Then she has to apply for dorms and get a summer job before starting school in the fall as an architecture major.

LMCHS senior Steven Gong applied to multiple schools with a couple “dream” schools in mind. However, upon receiving acceptance letters from a few of his “dream” schools, he began taking other options into consideration.

After he was done applying to colleges, Gong said he felt relieved and excited to hear back from all the colleges. As decision dates drew closer, he said he grew restless and nervous to see where he got accepted.

Gong said he began receiving acceptance letters from mid-February through the end of March. While reading all his letters, he said he felt “pride and validation that all my hard work during my high school career paid off.”

Gong has been accepted to Fresno State, the University of the Pacific’s 3+3 accelerated dental program, the University of Southern California, and eight of the University of California schools including Berkeley, San Diego and Irvine.

Gong said he feels a great sense of pride, but also a great deal of anxiety in his newfound conundrum. While he’s relieved he got into a number of prestigious universities, he’s having trouble choosing which one to attend.

“I believe that my decision will affect the next four years of my life and be a major milestone in my life,” Gong said. “That is a bit overwhelming to think about.”

Gong said his parents were thrilled to hear and see that he was admitted into so many great schools and that all his efforts were paying off. He said he wholeheartedly thanks his parents for supporting him and all his endeavors throughout high school.

“From driving to violin rehearsals to offering advice and wisdom when I hit a bump during my journey towards college, I truly could not have reached this point in my life without them,” Gong said of his parents.

Wherever he chooses to go, Gong said he knows he will be presented with new obstacles and challenges that he must overcome to succeed. He said he’s confident that the rite of passage of college will be his first step into adulthood and “the real world”.

“I am currently visiting prospective universities and I am still undecided where I will attend college next year,” Gong said, though, as of right now, he is strongly considering UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, USC and the University of the Pacific.

Once students get their acceptance letters, they have a month or two to decide which school they will attend and usually must formally decide by May 1, Chung said. The work is not over then, but has only begun, she said.

Students must first wrap up loose ends before graduating high school; make sure official transcripts are sent out to the proper places; make sure scholarships are in place; take placement tests in English, math or writing; attend preview days at the college; get their housing situations figured out; attend orientation; and most importantly, pick classes.

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