‘A chapter that’s closing — so another can open’: Seniors look ahead to college

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  • Senior Nadia Charles poses for a picture with her Pepperdine University board. Charles said she is excited to begin a new chapter in her life and pursue new opportunities.

  • Senior Ava Salomon represents her future college, Chapman University. Salomon said she cannot believe she is graduating this week and not returning to Archer the following year.

  • In this photo, Lola Lamberg (’21) takes a selfie with her friends in the hallway during her last week, as they prepare to graduate on Friday.

    Photo credit: Lola Lamberg

  • Seniors take a photo to capture their last moments on campus as a grade together on the fountain in the courtyard.

  • Seniors Gracey Wyles and Sydney Raucher pose in front of the courtyard fountain with their college sweatshirts. Both will attend schools in Illinois in the fall.

  • To kick off senior week activities after the honors symposium ended, the seniors enjoyed a water fight on Monday, May 24, in the courtyard. Seniors usually close the year by leaping in the fountain. However, they had a water battle instead because of California’s remaining pandemic restrictions.

    Photo credit: Greta Irvine

  • Nadia Charles (’21) and her friends take a selfie during the the Senior Farewell Tea Party on May 27.

    Photo credit: Nadia Charles

  • The week of May 24 was the senior’s last week on campus. To celebrate, they ended Monday with a water battle to share some laughs and memories. This was a COVID-adapted version of the traditional fountain jump.

  • Seniors spending their final days on-campus in the courtyard with one another.

    Photo credit: Mia Frank

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By Nyah Fernandez, Multimedia Editor

In the final month of high school, seniors envision what lies ahead in their college careers, including the ability to be independent as young adults. The Oracle interviewed members of the Class of 2021 to explore what is ahead in their lives as they consider college opportunities and their emotions about having left Archer.

Senior Ava Salomon is attending Chapman University in Orange, California in the fall. She plans to major in creative producing in the Dodge College Film School. Salomon expressed shock over May 21 being her last Zoom call with Archer, and said that she couldn’t believe she had graduated. Salomon attended Archer since the sixth grade and said that feels “excited” to enter college, but also expressed hesitation about leaving home.

“It feels like I’m coming back to Archer next year and not going to a completely different place,” Salomon said. “It’s going to be such a big step — such a bigger change than I can even fathom right now and I know that the independence and responsibilities are going to go through the roof.”

Senior Gracey Wyles has also been at Archer since the sixth grade. She will be attending the University of Chicago this fall and will be double majoring in neuroscience and political science on the road to a pre-med track.

“I’m really excited to take the classes where people actually want to be there,” Wyles said.  “I am a little bit nervous to be more independent, but at the same time, I think I’m up for the challenge — I’m definitely looking forward to it.”

When Nadia Charles (’21) hears the word college, the first thing that comes to her mind is how close her college is to the ocean. She is looking forward to meeting new people and having unlimited access to the beach.

“I think of how my college is on the cliff, and every time I wake up in my dorm, I will have a nice view of the beach,” Charles said. “I’m also really excited to get involved with the clubs provided.” 

Salomon said she is looking forward to all the new people and opportunities that she will encounter going to Chapman. Chapman offers clubs and organizations that fall into categories of Academic and Professional, Civic Engagement, Diversity/Cultural, Honor Societies and more.

“I’m excited to hear what everyone has to think and see everyone’s ideas,” Salomon said. “I am so excited to work with a bunch of new of people and really just put myself out there.” 

Charles said she is looking forward to attending Pepperdine University and majoring in political science, with the goal of becoming a sports and entertainment reporter. She has mixed emotions about the fact that she already has graduated.

I think my emotions are everywhere, to be honest — I have really happy days and even really sad days,” Charles said. “Overall, I see this as a celebratory moment for all of us and what we have been through this year.” 

Salomon said she feels “sad” to leave her closest friends because they are going to different schools in different states. She is so used to seeing her family downstairs all the time and described going from seeing them all day to not at all as “crazy.”

“Overall it’s just going to be such a new environment. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I can’t just call up my friends and hang out with them whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed,” Salomon said. 

Wyles has been dealing with nerves when she thinks about leaving home and going to college, but said she is “excited” to experience the prospect of living in a new city.

“It is also nerve-wracking having to live on my own and function as a real person, but I know that I have systems in place and the people will be there to have my back if I need it,” Wyles said. “I’m definitely nervous because it’s new, challenging and scary, but I am excited to try something new.”

Charles is looking forward to learning how to navigate her own life in college. She believes that though parents have some input in high school and can influence teen’s life paths, she will have more independence and a willingness to try new things in college.

“I think it’s also just a big moment of experimentation—I’m saying I want to do law right now, but that could change, as may the topic I wish to study,” Charles said.  “I think that it’s all about experimentation and becoming one with yourself to discovering who you are.”