PARASHAY HAMILTON: Taking the next step

CJ-0828-parashay-2CGraduating from high school is a milestone for many students. Graduation also marks the beginning of a new and exciting endeavor – college.
Getting ready for college and deciding which schools you want to attend can be an overwhelming process. To help prepare you, consider attending a college fair. A local college fair gives students the opportunity to network and talk to numerous college representatives, face-to-face. With a clear focus and early preparation, choosing and registering with a college can be a stress-free and rewarding process for you and your family.
On Sept. 26, Houston High School sponsored their annual college fair in the commons area so juniors and seniors could come and get more information on colleges that they have interest in attending or to see what options they have when it comes down to choosing a college or career pathway within the state.The colleges that were represented were Mississippi State University, Delta State University, University of Mississippi, Itawamba Community College, Tougaloo College, Blue Mountain College, Mississippi Valley State University, Mississippi University for Women, Jackson State University and Alcorn State University. Representative frmo the National Guard, U.S. Army and Marine Corps were also on site to help students explore options in career pathways as well.
At the college fair, there were recruiters that helped students decide what college they wanted to attend, what majors they wanted to pursue a career in and the preparation steps to take once they knew which way they wanted to go career-wise. All of the representatives provided basic information of the college’s background and the majors that are offered there. Students could also receive more information by mail and set up a visitation day or send in an application. Some colleges even gave away free shirts, stickers, key chains and cups to the students that were interested in that school.
Each admissions representative or alumnus who worked at their college table, and its collection of papers, pens, and the occasional highlighter giveaway, was very welcoming, ready to engage and happy to answer questions.
Everyone wins in a college fair. High school students get face time with representatives of colleges from around the country in a single evening. Colleges can touch a cross-section of students from an area in a single evening.To have local colleges and universities come participate in Houston High School’s college fair and guide students really helps students go in the right direction to get more education and earn degrees to become whatever their hearts desire.
Don’t procrastinate
For seniors, college preparation is critical since there isn’t much time before graduation to submit applications, apply for scholarships, take the ACT or state required tests and most importantly, make sure all deadlines are met before graduation rolls around. As a senior myself, I know how stressful and confusing your senior year can be with senior portraits, graduation, submitting college applications, taking the ACT and making decent grades. The list goes on and on, but the college fair was like a breath of fresh air. The college fair was also extremely helpful to juniors that wanted to get a head start on college applications and know what scores they need to have on the ACT or SAT in order to go to the college they want to attend so that their senior year will be a breeze.
I personally would like to give a special thanks to all of the colleges, the U.S. Army, the National Guard, and the Marine Corps for coming and participating at the Houston High School College Fair. Your help with career pathways for juniors and seniors is extremely appreciated.

Parashay Hamilton is a senior at Houston High School and a student intern at the Chickasaw Journal. She can be reached at 456-3771.

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