Juniors kick off college process, seniors commit


Photo credit: Marla Terry

Juniors pose in front of “Tommy Trojan,” a statue at USC. On the same day, the juniors also visited LMU.

As seniors finalized their college decisions on May 1, juniors are just beginning their journeys.

On Tuesday, Jan. 23, the College Guidance Department held its annual College Kickoff event for the eleventh grade class and their parents. This Kickoff is the first of a series intended to help students prepare for the college application process and life beyond Archer. 

“[The college kickoff event] is an official starting point for us to all come together as a group,” Co-Director of College Guidance Gabrielle Dorsey said. “[We] talk about what the expectations are, what the timeline will be and how we can all work together.”

Some students said that the kickoff event was especially helpful for their parents.

“I think it gave us some assurance [that we] are going to get into college, [that] it’s going to be okay,” Marley Chaney ‘19 said. “It also gave us direct information, like what we need to do for college admission. It also taught us that it [the college process] is not that scary of a thing.”

In addition to the kickoff event, juniors also toured two local colleges — Loyola Marymount University and the University of Southern California — on Feb. 13. Students said these two colleges offered diverse perspectives because LMU is a medium sized school, while USC is large. 

“I think it’s good for people to see the schools,” Chaney said. “Some people can’t pay for flights across the country just to see the difference between a large university and a college with a smaller campus, so that was really helpful.”

Photo by Cybele Zhang
Regina Valitova ’18 poses with her LMU sweatshirt. Valitova is among the seniors who plans to attend the school in the fall.

Although many students begin worrying about college as they enter high school, according to Dorsey, there is a reason Archer does not start the college admissions process sooner.

“Archer is actually very intentional about not starting this process until eleventh grade. Some of the best things you can do to prepare your application is to actually be involved at Archer. Take advantage of the classes that you have. Really engage and enjoy them,” Dorsey said. “If you haven’t taken some time to think about what you enjoy about the community that you’re in now, it’s going to make it really hard for us to help you find the community that you’re gonna love in your future.”

Although the majority of students decide to leave Los Angeles for college, some do end up attending local schools like LMU and USC. Kamryn Bellamy is one of the seniors that will be attending LMU this coming fall.

“When I toured LMU with Archer, I actually didn’t like it,” Bellamy said. “I think that was more so because of the tour guide, but I was more sold on LMU because of the community that they have. And the campus is also really beautiful.”

Although Bellamy had already been to LMU previous to her tour with Archer, the experience she had with Archer pushed her to return to the school for another tour. She said her repeated visits led her to commit to LMU.

“I feel like Archer has really been a support for me as I’m going through this process,” Sarah Traenkle ’19 said. “I’ve learned a lot from the seniors ahead of me. I feel like I really know what to expect.”