Graduating with Honors in College

Hey everybody! TheCollegiate here, and I apologize for my lack of posting last week! I know the seniors in our journalism class are writing their final blog post this week- it will be so strange coming to an almost-empty class for the rest of the school year once they all graduate! The topic of senior graduation got me thinking about what I want to write for this week’s post, and so today I will be writing about college graduation- specifically, graduating with honors.

cap-diploma-1315412-1279x837There are a lot of different titles that high schools use during graduation ceremonies, the most common ones being Valedictorian and Salutatorian. Issaquah recently made the switch to honoring students with Latin honor titles, which is what most colleges do as well. The Latin titles are Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Summa Cum Laude.

Cum Laude is Latin for ‘With Honor,’ Magna Cum Laude for ‘With Great Honor,’ and Summa Cum Laude for ‘With Highest Honor.’ To earn any of these titles, you must have a somewhat high GPA. To earn the title of Cum Laude, you need a GPA of at least 3.5. The title of Magna Cum Laude comes with a GPA of 3.8-3.9, while a perfect GPA- something that is very difficult to obtain in college- will reward you with the title of Summa Cum Laude.

These titles, since they are based on GPA brackets, allow for more students to be distinguished for their academic achievements, which is part of the reason why Issaquah has adopted these titles for our senior graduation.

That’s it for this week’s blog post! I thought talking about similarities between Issaquah’s graduation awards and college graduation awards was an interesting topic to write about.

See you next week,


A Universal Major: Business

business-1239215-1280x960Hey everybody! TheCollegiate here. I’ve been thinking about different types of majors and minors recently, so I thought that for this week’s blog post I would talk more about majoring in business. A major in business, as the title of this blog post suggests, is very universal. This means that the major itself is generally broad and all-encompassing, but is also very helpful for going into a wide variety of careers. This major is perfect for students who are not sure about what career field they want to enter, and today I’m going to explain why.

The first reason is that a major in business is a gateway to getting a job in nearly any type of industry. You can help run companies, or be a consultant for a company. You may find that you love managing companies and helping them run smoothly, or you may find a new passion by working alongside certain industries and learning what they are all about.

Additionally, a major in business is great for those who have personal hobbies and interests that they want to make a living off of someday. Do you love baking? Photography? With a degree in business, you can own and operate your own bakery or photography studio, and do what you truly love doing every day.

Majoring in business will not only allow you to enter into a wide variety of career paths, but it will also help give you valuable, real-world skills such as financing that you will use for the rest of your life. If you are unsure about what you want to pursue after college, consider a major in business, as it may help you greatly later on.

That’s all for this week!


What to Pack for College

Hey everybody! TheCollegiate here, and I hope you had a great week and are enjoying your Friday. For this week’s blog post I am going to be talking about an essential part of pre-college life: deciding on what to pack. Packing for college may initially seem like a daunting and challenging process, but with proper planning it hopefully will not be as stressful.

Dorms typically only come with a bed frame, a desk, and possibly a wardrobe of sorts. This means that, when packing for college, some essentials that you need to bring with are bedding sets, towels and toiletries, laundry supplies, silverware, cleaning supplies, and desk accessories. You could possibly bring a mini fridge if one is not provided in your dorm, though check with your roommate to see if they plan on bringing one to share.

question-mark-1-1237395-1280x1250Once you have the essentials squared away, you can focus on decor, storage, and other items that will make your dorm feel more like home. Dorms are quite small, and you’ll be sharing the space with your roommate, so maximizing storage makes all the difference in the world- buying shelves, cubbies, or under-bed storage bins can help you make the most of the tight space. I wouldn’t recommend bringing along too many decor items- while you want to make your dorm a comfortable space, you don’t want to pack too much   and not have enough space for everything. Lastly, you should focus on clothing- don’t pack everything you own, only what you will truly wear.

Packing for college and deciding on what you should bring to your new home away from home can be a bit intimidating, but as long as you find the balance between packing the essentials, maximizing space and storage, and bringing along the comforts of home, the intimidation will fade away.

Best of luck, and see you next week!


College Highlight: Georgetown

Hi everybody, TheCollegiate here. I hope you all are doing well, and are not stressing too much over all of the AP exams that are taking place this week and next week! I myself just finished my last exam today, and I’m very happy to be done with testing!

This week I’m going back to reviewing and sharing information about particular colleges, and this week’s pick is Georgetown University. The university is located in Washington D.C., and is primarily a research-based university. The school’s acceptance rate is 16.4%, so it is not quite easy to get into, however the acceptance rate is not as slim as Ivy League schools. The college is quite historic, being founded in 1789 as a Catholic and Jesuit university- it is open to all religions nowadays, though.

Georgetown features nine different schools on campus for various departments- business, arts, law, medicine, nursing, and more- and offers a wide array of majors and minors for students to choose from. The university’s location in the heart of D.C. makes it a great school for those who are interested in law, politics, or history- the nation’s capital is the embodiment of those fields of study in action.



Academics aside, I discovered that this university has a particularly awesome financial aid program. Since 1978, the university has striven to ensure that all undergraduate students are able to pay for their schooling. To quote their website, “The University works to provide eligible students 100 percent of their demonstrated financial need through scholarships, loans and other forms of assistance.” The website goes on to mention that almost half of their student population enrolled with the help of financial aid. Their commitment to making sure that all students who want to attend their school can is phenomenal, and something that other colleges across the country should strive to do as well.

Overall, Georgetown is a great school that is not only committed to a high standard of education, but to easing the burden of paying for college as well, which is very important for many students.

Finding and Choosing a Roommate

Hey everybody! TheCollegiate here. I realized this week that I have yet to talk about a somewhat significant part of college life- roommates. With off-campus housing being costly, and most schools requiring underclassmen to dorm on campus with a roommate, it’s important to find a person that you won’t mind living with for at least one school year. Here is my advice on how you can best choose a roommate.

My first piece of advice is to start local- during your senior year, see if you can find anyone amongst your friend group that is going to your college or university and is looking for a potential roommate as well. If nobody in your immediate group of friends is attending the college you are, see if they know of anybody who is, and get in touch with them. You can email them, or even direct message them on social media to introduce yourself and explain your need for a roommate. It might be particularly comforting to have either a familiar face, or at least somebody from your hometown and your high school, to live with during your early years of college.

on-the-quad-1465132-640x480However, if you want to broaden your horizons a bit and room with someone you’ve never met before, social media is a great tool to use to get in contact with potential roommates. Certain colleges will create Facebook groups for incoming students to join and post what they’re looking for in a roommate, and these groups will give you an ample amount of students to choose from. Most students in these groups will talk about themselves and their future college lifestyles- if they’ll be somewhat messy, if they’ll rush for Greek Life, and if they’ll be partying a lot. This personal information can help you refine who you best see yourself living with, and that’s very important- after all, you want to come home to someone who you consider a friend, not someone who you have nothing in common with.

Finding a roommate may seem daunting, but if you reach out to people or social media groups in advance, you might meet the perfect person to dorm with. Good luck!


AP Classes- Do Colleges Care?

Hey everybody! TheCollegiate here, and welcome back from spring break! I hope you all had a fantastic break spent relaxing, traveling, or spending time doing the things you love with the people you love.

Spring break being over means that May is only a few short weeks away, and with May comes Advanced Placement, or AP, testing for many students across the country. I myself am preparing for the AP US History exam taking place on May 5th, which gave me the idea for this week’s blog post: how much of an impact does taking AP classes have on your acceptance into a certain college?

AP classes are always recommended by teachers and school staff as a more rigorous course option for students who want to challenge themselves, and there isn’t anything inherently bad about taking an AP class. The truth of the matter is yes, colleges do like to see students pushing themselves and taking AP classes. However, not taking any advanced classes doesn’t mean that colleges won’t accept you, it just is something that they prefer.


When it comes to course selection, try not to focus as much on what colleges want to see from students, and think about what classes, and what level of difficulty, would best suit your own interests. If you are feeling constantly bored or unchallenged in a class, and whatever you are learning comes naturally to you, consider taking an AP class to challenge yourself a little more. If you have a particular interest in a certain subject, definitely try taking an advanced level class in that subject to delve into that interest more. However, don’t just take an advanced class to take one- if you have no interest in it, you probably won’t do well in the class.

Ultimately, taking advanced classes does look good when applying to colleges, however you should only take advanced classes in the subjects that you want to, and feel comfortable in taking. Not taking any AP classes won’t deter colleges away from accepting you either; while these classes show perhaps a greater dedication to academics, there are so many other factors that colleges consider when choosing who to accept that it most likely won’t be a deciding factor.

That’s it for this week’s blog post, see you all next week.


Spring Break at College

spring-1-1488939-640x480Hey everybody, TheCollegiate here, and happy spring break! It seems as though mid-winter break was just yesterday, time really has gone by fast- the next break we have is summer vacation, which is crazy to think about! Anyways, for this week’s blog post I decided it would be fitting to write about spring breaks in college, and how you can make the most of your time.

Like high school, college spring breaks are only about a week-long, which doesn’t give you  a ton of time to go on an extensive trip, but enough time to get out and do some exploring. If you don’t have a ton of money to spend on plane tickets and general travel, one fun thing you can do during your break is get out and do some exploring of the area around your college, whether it’s a nearby city, a historic district, or just your college town. You can go to museums, parks, a beach if you’re near one (and if it’s warm enough), and visit all of the places that you’ve always wanted to go to, but never had the time to. And, while it may not be as eventful as the stereotypical spring break, you can take your week off and just do a whole lot of nothing. College can be very stressful, so a full week off spent relaxing and giving your mind some rest might be just what you need. No matter how you choose to spend your spring break, as long you’re enjoying yourself, relaxing, and having some fun, it is a break well spent.

That’s all for this week’s post! Have a spectacular spring break, and see you in two weeks!


College in Three Years

Hey everybody! TheCollegiate here. Just recently I was watching the news and heard of a new option that some colleges are offering: finishing college in just three years, instead of the typical four. I was very interested in the topic, so I thought I would share with you all some information on it for this week’s blog post.

What is the three-year graduation plan? It’s pretty explanatory- instead of spreading out all of your courses over four years, students take more classes in three years in order to meet all of their graduation requirements in a shorter amount of time. Students still have to meet a certain number of credits, and have to take certain classes, but they take more of them at one time. To some, this is a great option, but it’s also understandable for some to be wary of loading up their schedules with additional courses, especially if they are trying to squeeze in extracurricular activities.

So, why is this option becoming available, and what are the benefits? The answer to this question is simple: to cut down on costs. There’s no doubt about the fact that college is expensive. Students who finish college in three years can save about 25% on tuition costs, which, to those going to more expensive colleges, can make a world of a difference. In the news segment that I recently watched, one of the student’s who was being interviewed said that they originally could not afford to attend one of the more expensive colleges until they discovered the three-year graduation plan, which then made it possible. Not only does this plan reduce the amount of money you spend on college (and the amount of debt you acquire), it gives you the option to go to schools that may have been out of your budget before.

red-graduation-cap-1418709-1278x1165Unfortunately not many schools have implemented such a plan at the moment, but perhaps more will in the future. If you are interested in this program, definitely research the colleges you want to apply to and see which ones offer it.

That’s all for this week’s post. See you later!


Not Getting Into College

Hey everybody! TheCollegiate here, and for this week’s blog post I’m going to be focusing on everybody’s worst college-related fear: not getting accepted into any of the schools that you apply to. This is a pretty common fear amongst high schoolers, and it coincides with the common insecurity of not feeling as though you are good enough- you fear that the colleges that you are applying to won’t think you are good enough either. The chances of not getting an acceptance letter from any of the colleges that you apply to is minimal, but it is still helpful to know what to do just in case.

First and foremost, it’s important to recognize the fact that not getting into anything the first time that you apply does not mean that it’s the end of the road for you. There could be several reasons for why you didn’t get accepted. You could have possibly applied to too many schools with low acceptance rates, or schools where you don’t meet their general acceptance requirements perfectly. Maybe your SAT scores, if they’re low, are affecting your chances of acceptance. Either way, talking to your counselor could help you discover why it happened, and your counselor can better help you go about improving your chances for the next year. In addition, if you want a direct response from a particular school, feel free to email their admission’s office- they’ll be sure to give you an answer.

1024px-Red_x.svgOftentimes, colleges reject an application offer because they don’t feel that you are best suited for their school, and that’s okay- a rejection is another opportunity for you to find what’s best for you. While rejection hurts, it does not mean that you are a bad student and cannot go to college- you will find the right school for you, and you will succeed there.

See you all next week,


The Summer Before College

Hey everybody! TheCollegiate here. For this week’s blog post I’m going to share some of my ideas for making the most of the summer before you head off to college. For those of you who are going to colleges that are in this state, this might not apply to you necessarily, but if you are going to a college that’s in another state or is across the country, having a memorable summer in your home state might be desirable to you.

Homesickness affects lots of students who are going to college in a new area. Before you head off to college, spend the summer visiting all of you favorite places and doing all of your favorite things around your hometown. Taking everything in and making lots of memories before you go will provide comfort for you later on whenever you’re feeling homesick.

Before you go to college, visit all of your favorite places in Washington!

Before you go to college, visit all of your favorite places in Washington!

Even if you are going to a college that’s nearby, the summer before you start your classes can be filled with relaxation and doing all of the things that you enjoy doing. This is your last true summer vacation, so make the most of it! College can be pretty time-consuming, so feel free to relax and just enjoy three months of break while it lasts.

The summer before you go off to college should be a time for you to relax, have fun, and spend time with family and friends. Make new memories, go on exciting adventures, so you can go off to college having made the most of your last summer vacation.

See you next week,


College Highlight: California Polytechnic State University

Hi everybody! TheCollegiate here. This week, I’m continuing on with my college highlight series by focusing on California Polytechnic State University. The university, commonly referred to as CalPoly, was founded in 1901 located in San Luis Obispo, California. The acceptance rate of this school is 29.5%.

CalPoly is a public technical university. According to their website, the school is ranked #1 for their architecture program by DesignIntelligence and is the #1 master’s-level public college by U.S. News and World Report. The school is made up of six colleges: Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences; Architecture, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Business; and Science and Mathematics. They have more than sixty majors to choose from, ranging from aerospace engineering to wine and viticulture. There’s so many paths to choose from when attending this school, however its main focus is on science and technical-related fields.

In addition, there is an enormous amount of clubs and organizations at this school for students to take part in- about 325 programs!

Not to mention, the college’s location is fantastic. San Luis Obsipo, otherwise known as SloCal, is filled with amenities and opportunities for fun and exciting adventures. The natural landscape is a haven for many outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, surfing, and more. You will always find something to do on the weekends, whether it’s enjoying the outdoors, what the city has to offer, or the many clubs the college offers.

Overall, California Polytechnic State University is a great school for those looking to pursue a science or technical career. Not to mention, our very own Abbie Coffing is strongly considering attending this university!



Taking a Gap Year

Hello everybody! TheCollegiate here, and this week I’m going to be talking about something that has become increasingly popular among students graduating high school: taking a gap year. A gap year is exactly what it sounds like- taking a break from school for a year before entering college. Over the years, more students have decided to take a year off after completing high school- even former president Barack Obama’s daughter, Malia, is taking a gap year before going to Harvard. However, is this the best option for you? Here are some of the pros and cons.

calendar-1568148-1279x850Taking a gap year is a great choice for students who aren’t feeling quite ready to head off to college- it is a big change after all. You may be moving to a new area, dorming with people you’ve never met before, and it can all be a little overwhelming. Taking a year off to either relax or get acquainted to your new surroundings may help ease the transition to college.

However, a drawback of taking a gap year could be a lack of motivation. After spending so much time away from school, jumping right back into the swing of things in college may be difficult for you to do.

The main reason student’s choose to take a gap year is to spend that time traveling. Exploring new places and experiencing new cultures is a great way to help you develop as a person and make lasting memories. Although, traveling is quite expensive, and it may not be something that’s feasible for many students. With an entire year off, staying home may become a little boring after a while.

Overall, gap years are great if you want to take a break before heading into college, but a lack of motivation when coming back, and the expenses of making that break fun and exciting may rule this out as an option for some.

That’s it for this week!


College Highlight: University of Washington

Hey everybody! TheCollegiate here, and this week I am going to be featuring a college that I’m sure you have all heard of: the University of Washington, otherwise known as U-Dub.

The University of Washington was founded in 1861, which makes it one of the most historic schools on the west coast. It has a 53% acceptance rate, so you have a fairly good chance of getting accepted into this school. UW is unique in that it is actually made up of three different campuses- located in Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma. UW Bothell focuses on cyber security, while UW Seattle and Tacoma offer a wider range of majors and course options, with the Seattle branch being the main campus of the three.

Being in Issaquah, the University of Washington seems to be a great choice for most students. Staying in Washington is more preferable for those who aren’t ready to move to another state for college. Not to mention, the in-state tuition of UW ranges from about $18-29k, while out-of-state tuition is anywhere from $42-53k- since we live in-state, going to UW is a better choice economically for students than going to a college out-of-state.Image result for university of washington logo

The University of Washington has a wide array of departments- a grand total of 140- ranging from astronautics to urology.

Overall, the University of Washington is a great school to apply to. Staying close to home allows for global academic outreach with a local feel, and with so many areas of study to choose from, you can customize your courses and overall college experience to fit your needs.

That’s all for this week’s blog post. I hope you all have a wonderful midwinter break, and get to spend quality time with family and friends!


College Highlight: Brown University

Hey everybody! TheCollegiate here. This week I’m continuing on with my college-highlight series by talking about a college that I’m sure you’ve all heard of: Brown University.

Brown was founded in 1764 in Providence, Rhode Island, and is one of the eight Ivy League schools in our country. The acceptance rate of the school is 9.3% as of this year, which definitely means it’s no easy college to get accepted into, but it does have a higher rate than most if not all of the other Ivy League schools. Like the College of William and Mary that I discussed in last week’s post, Brown is a research-based university as well. Regardless of your major, there are numerous opportunities for you to conduct research and solve problems while at this school.

Brown offers 70 different concentrations for undergraduates in a vast array of different subjects, so you have so many great options to choose from when selecting your desired area of study. In addition, here are 300 different types of clubs and groups for students to join and be a part of at Brown, so it would be very easy for you to settle in and become comfortable in the campus community, and find friends with similar interests.


Providence, Rhode Island

Being located in Providence means you’ll have access to not only everything that this city has to offer, but other cities as well. According to the school website, Brown is only an hour away from Boston and three hours away from New York City- on weekends, if you aren’t busy studying, you could perhaps take a drive to either of these cities and do some exploring.

Brown is a fantastic university that has so many different courses and clubs to choose from- you can really personalize your college experience here, and take classes that explore all of your interests. I would highly recommend applying here, despite its low acceptance rate- if you can get in, it’s a great school to choose.

That’s all for this week!