As we approach the end of the school year, students of Naples High, especially seniors, are planning for life after high school. They’ve worked tirelessly for four years, and last week all colleges sent out acceptance or rejection letters.

A tedious process

Senior Kat Regala has been accepted to various colleges, including the University of Florida, Boston College and Notre Dame. However, her path to decision day hasn’t been easy.

“The college application process can be difficult and can take nearly 6 months of preparation if you want to give yourself flexibility,” Regala said. “However, the 3 years of academic and extracurricular preparation that went into the college process before even looking at applications are the hardest part.”

After careful thought and consideration, Regala decided to attend Notre Dame. 

“I’d like to emphasize that without the massive financial and emotional support of my parents, leaving Florida would not be possible without going into a large amount of debt,” Regala said. “I would say that for most people I know, staying in state versus going to school out of state is due to their finance, not personal preference.”

A win-win-win-win situation

Senior Chase Melton faces a dilemma. Two weeks ago, all Ivy League colleges sent out their acceptance letters to prospective students. Melton applied to Brown, Yale and Harvard. The problem? He has been accepted to all of them. 

“I never had a dream college, mainly because I didn’t want to set an unrealistically high expectation for myself and then be disappointed,” Melton said. “I’m glad I did things this way, even if I did end up getting into a lot of schools.”

Melton was also accepted to Stanford. He narrowed down his decision to Harvard and Stanford and must choose by May 5.

“Hopefully I’ll have some epiphany while researching these schools,” Melton said. “I do feel super grateful for the position I’m in, even if it is a very difficult choice to make.”

An expert’s opinion

Liddy Bowland is a freshman at Yale University. She has firsthand knowledge on the college experience and application process. Being a liberal-arts enthusiast, Yale was not her first choice. 

“I assumed that most schools with highly competitive admissions would yield non-collaborative environments,” Boland said. “Given this, I quickly cut all Ivy Leagues from my list.”

When she visited the Yale campus, however. Boland’s perspective changed. She fell in love with the school and applied soon after. 

“The students were excited to work together to find solutions to the problems facing our world,” Boland said. “The professors wanted to spend more time conversing with the students, too.”

When asked whether those who aim higher gain more success in life, Boland had a unique answer. 

“Absolutely not,” Boland said. “I think the perception that willpower or hard work is what makes a person successful in life does not acknowledge that we all start in a different place and we all face different challenges.”

Although our senior Eagles will all be achieving different feats when they leave Naples High, we have faith that they will reach their own versions of success. 

“I’m very excited to graduate and start this chapter of my life,” Regala said. “It’s an immense pleasure to meet different people, take on different challenges and be exposed to new opportunities.”