Claire Dickerson, 12
If you’re a senior, you may be lucky enough to know where you’re going to spend the next four years of your life. You’ve spent the early winter filling out numerous college applications, time that you’ll never get back, but that was well spent. The wait is almost over, and by now you’re probably well familiar with the anxiety of waiting for your top college’s decisions to be released. If you’ve already received an acceptance letter, congratulations, you can breathe a sigh of relief! And if you haven’t heard anything yet, try to relax because at this point there’s nothing you can do but wait a little longer.
If in fact you are planning to attend a university next fall, there are some important matters you need to take care of. First, you’ll need to make your final decision on what college is best for you. Choose carefully, as this will most likely become your home for the next four years. While making this choice, go visit the school (if you haven’t already) and talk to current students, other accepted students, and admissions counselors to learn as much as you can. After you’re sure of your decision, you will most likely have to accept your offer and pay a deposit, securing your spot for next fall.
Once you’ve secured your spot at a school that’s right for you, sit back, relax, and enjoy the rest of your senior year. Several exciting activities that most, if not all, seniors participate in are prom, beach week, graduation, and graduation parties. Take advantage of your exam exemptions and try not to exceed your absence limit.
While you’re relaxing and enjoying the end of senior year, keep in mind how expensive college is. While some are lucky enough to have parents who can help them pay tuition, most of us will carry the entire weight of their college financials. A good way to prepare and get ahead is by having a summer job. Making some extra cash before you begin life as a college student will take a fraction of the weight off your shoulders. Current college students already know this, so they will be the first ones to snatch up most of the jobs as soon as they’re home. The sooner you find a way to make money the better. Another way to take ease the financial situation is by applying for scholarships. There are many scholarship opportunities offered by numerous groups and organizations. Some only receive a few applicants, so your chances of winning are higher than you think.
The summer after we graduate will be the shortest summer we get, only ten weeks to be exact. Travel, make some money, and use your freedom wisely to make the most out of those ten weeks. While you’re out there living it up, remember that these are some of the best days of your life, so don’t take them for granted. During this time, look for a roommate, if you don’t already have one. Plan and shop for your dorm room, make sure you have a good backpack, clothes for college, and a laptop if you need one. After that, embrace the transition because the next chapter of your life is about to begin.
By. Lauren Schubert
Every year, the current senior class of the Leadership and International Relations program here at James River completes a capstone. Capstones are student-run projects that are meant to bring attention to a specific cause or charity. The most recent capstone event took place on February 2nd and centered around the issue of homelessness in the greater Richmond area. The informational conference was held by leadership students Elon Harrison and Taylor Gibson and had an overwhelming amount of support from Richmond residents and our very own James River Rapids! The Rapid Press was able to ask one of the managers of the one of the managers of the event, Elon Harrison, a few questions about how the entire event came together which can be found below.
Lauren Schubert: How did the two of you come up with the idea for a homelessness conference?
Elon Harrison: Taylor and I have always had a heart for homeless individuals and always think about how fortunate we’ve been in our lives. We understand that homelessness is not a quick fix, but we wanted people to be aware of its prevalence in the RVA community. Giving a few dollars to a homeless individual on the street is not the ultimate solution to the problem, so we wanted to provide our community with a platform to help alleviate the issue (volunteering, donating, spreading the word, etc). By hosting an informational conference, we were able to educate the community on the prevalence of homelessness in RVA, give perspectives on the issue through individuals who have experienced it themselves, and provide organizations with which they would involve themselves. Ultimately, we hoped the conference would encourage people to take action on the issue.
Lauren Schubert: How did you feel about the overall turnout of the event? Did it undermine or exceed your expectations?
Elon Harrison: We had an amazing turnout and had more individuals in attendance than we’d expected.
Lauren Schubert: Overall, what was the best part of hosting and planning the event?
Elon Harrison: Honestly, the best part of planning and hosting was knowing we were going to make an impact on our community once the event came together. The actual process of planning and hosting was quite stressful. We had some issues along the way, but we knew our work would be beneficial in some way… that’s what kept us going throughout the process.
Zoe Broderick, 9
Jeans - With cold weather on the horizon, it’s time to say goodbye to shorts and skirts. An absolute essential for fall are many good pairs of jeans. Make sure to have a couple denim pairs in regular colors, and then experiment with some other fall colors!
A good pair of boots - We all know that fall season means that you’re going to be wearing a lot of jeans, which means you’ll definitely need a good pair of shoes to spice up an everyday pair of jeans. Make sure to get a durable pair of boots that will last you through the season. Also, pick a neutral color so that they’re more versatile.
Sweater or cardigan - If you still want to wear your short sleeve shirts in the fall, then invest in a sweater or cardigan to keep you warm. Make sure that you get one that is made of warm material. Now you can wear your summer wardrobe all year long!
Flannel - Flannel is something that you can only get away with during the fall so go crazy! Make sure to wear an understated top though, so that the overlapping colors of the flannel don’t clash. I recommend a flannel jacket, as it is more subtle, and you can wear a cute top with it as well.
Leggings - There are always those days in fall when you just want to stay in bed and wear comfortable clothes. Well, leggings are perfect for that! Sometime jeans can be a little uncomfortable. When this happens leggings are your best friend. Be sure to get a basic black pair that you can simply throw them on in the morning and be good to go.
Infinity scarf - If you’re looking for a more understated accessory, I would suggest an infinity scarf. Scarves are a great way to add a pop of color to any outfit. Pair it with a complementing pair of earrings for a cute and natural look.
“David and Lisa” in a phenomenal play put on by Theatre on the James. The play focuses on a sixteen year old boy named David, played by Nick Whelen, who has a fear of being touched. His parents, in hopes of helping him, send him to a special school with other kids with similar problems. There, he meets a girl named Lisa, played by Fiorenza LoPresti, who has Dissociative Identity Disorder. As the days pass, David forms new friendships and confronts his inner turmoil with the help of Lisa and a therapist Dr. Alan Swinford, played by Jake Lester. The production is a bit darker than what we are used to, but light moments of comedy are sprinkled throughout to keep us on the edge of our seats. All in all, this play was a rollercoaster of emotions that I wouldn’t mind going on again!
Lauren Schubert, 10
As we finally say goodbye to summer and sun, it can be hard to transition back into school. For one thing, we haven’t been in the classroom since June, so even the easiest assignments seem like torture. Not to worry though, because with the right tools, the right mindset, and a great group of friends, back to school doesn’t have to be so bad. Here are my top three tips for back to school that might make it a bit easier to get pumped up for the year.
Find a Routine
One of the hardest skills to master during the back to school season can be time management. Between sports, clubs, homework, and time for friends, it can be a lot to handle in one day. However, having a schedule, or a daily routine, can make it a million times easier to navigate through your day. People who have a set routine spend less time asking themselves what they are doing next. Ultimately, having a schedule will give you a rhythm to fall into each day, which saves you valuable time. If it helps, try purchasing an agenda! Even if every day is different for you, having a calendar with everything written out can guide you as you organize your time.
How boring would school be if you only took classes? Take the opportunity to try something new this school year! Getting involved has been shown to make you more motivated to wake up and start your day. So finally join that club you’ve been meaning to look into, go to the interest meeting for the debate club or the forensics team, try out for a sports team you like, or even start a club of your very own. Having extracurricular activities outside of the classroom can help you make new friends, and make the most out of your high school experience. Find out what you’re passionate about and run with it. After all, you only go for four years, so make them count! Investing in your school will leave a mark on the students who come after you; not to mention you’ll make amazing friendships and have something to look forward to after a long school day.
Have a Positive Mindset
Time and time again it's been proven that positive people are more successful. If you look for the best in each day, you’ll find it much easier to get out of bed in the morning. It doesn’t have to be super complicated either. Try finding one thing each day you’re looking forward to or you’re happy about. It can be as simple as having Lucky Charms for breakfast, or seeing your friends in the newly decorated library during lunch. By constantly complaining about your workload or busy schedule, you’re only dragging yourself down. Look at the positives, and you’ll find yourself spreading your positive attitude to others too.
So, all in all, when you take a step back, ‘back to school’ isn’t really that bad. Even when you’re drowning in school work, your brain is getting stronger than it was before; you’re learning more and more about the world around you. So this back to school season, make some new friends, find a routine, and see the best in the 2018-19 school year.