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Hurricane Hilary moves College Jumpstart to Zoom, seniors connect virtually 

Photo credit: Audrey Chang
This slideshow presents information to seniors during College Jumpstart. Due to Hurricane Hilary, the event was moved online Aug. 21, and there was a follow-up session on campus the next day where seniors learned more about the college application process. 

Three years ago, students attended school on Zoom and relied on tiny digital boxes for information, hoping to return back to campus as soon as possible. Recently, seniors briefly returned to Zoom due to Hurricane Hilary, which prompted officials to issue a tropical storm warning in Southern California.

Orientation was canceled for all students Aug. 21, and seniors attended College Jumpstart via Zoom that day but were on campus on Aug. 22 for a College Jumpstart follow-up.

College Jumpstart is an annual informational meeting for seniors to learn more about the college application process. The college guidance counselors gave seniors guidance on the logistics of completing applications and more resources on how to go through college applications smoothly. College Guidance Counselor Ivan Hauck said his goal for the program is to build positive energy around the college process.

We know that the college process can be stressful, but we hope to infuse it with a little joy.”

— Director of College Guidance Ivan Hauck

“We know that the college process can be stressful, but we hope to infuse it with a little joy,” Hauck said. “There’s the coming together as a community to talk about how we want to support each other and celebrate each other, and the other part is logistics — showing dates, timelines and responsibilities so that seniors feel like they know exactly what is expected of them and what they need to do to be successful.”

Senior Piper Porter said Hauck and College Counselor Shalyn Tharayil addressed aspects of the Common Application she found confusing. She said it was helpful to gain insight into the process directly from the college counselors. 

“It was useful in the sense that I could ask questions and receive information without having to find it on our college website,” Porter said. “It was also helpful to know that my classmates were in this with me.”

Hauck said College Jumpstart being moved to Zoom wasn’t a significant setback in the process because seniors will be given many more opportunities to connect about college applications throughout the year.

“I felt bad for the seniors because it’s always fun to have more time to come together as a community, but we were able to cover the logistics they needed,” Hauck said. “Fortunately, we have a Human Development 12 course where we meet with everyone once a cycle, so all of that information will be reinforced.”

Porter said she learned most about the Common Application and writing essays during College Jumpstart. Another component she found helpful was information and resources on how to discuss college applications with parents. 

“I want my parents to know what everything is going to be like after I graduate,” Porter said. “We were able to express things to our college counselors that they could relate back to our parents to calm their nerves and relieve stress about the process.”

Senior Remi Cannon said they are grateful to attend Archer, where they have access to resources throughout the college process.

“The value of College Jumpstart was seeing that everyone does such amazing things in between junior and senior year,” Cannon said. “It was helpful to touch base and get reassured that nobody’s behind, and nobody is ahead — we’re in the exact spot we need to be in.”

Hauck said College Jumpstart is a fundamental part of senior year, and it is important for seniors to balance college applications with having fun and enjoying what’s left of their Archer experience.

“It’s the last year for Winter Wonderland, Color Wars and so many other traditions — senior year is special,” Hauck said. “There’s so many shared experiences that bring everyone together.”

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About the Contributors
Lola Thomas
Lola Thomas, Senior Reporter
Lola Thomas joined The Oracle as a staff reporter in 2022 and became a senior reporter in 2023. She is a part of the Ambassador Leadership Team, serves on the Black Student Union Board, and is a member of the Unaccompanied Minors. You can find her listening to music, hanging out with her friends, and playing with her puppy in her free time.
Audrey Chang
Audrey Chang, Editor-in-Chief
Audrey Chang joined the Oracle as a staff reporter in 2021 and became the News Editor in 2022. In 2023, she became the Editor-in-Chief. She played on the Archer varsity tennis team, was a member of the Ambassador Leadership Team Advisory Board and ran the For Goodness Cakes club. In her free time, you could find her baking, surfing and playing with her four dogs. She graduated in 2024.

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