The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School




The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School



Should You Have a Dream School? SLOHS Seniors Discuss


  Many seniors enter the college admissions process with dream schools in mind, but not all end up attending their original first choices. The stress and reality of college admissions causes many students to leave the application process feeling far different than they did entering it.

Expressions talked to several San Luis Obispo High School seniors to learn about their college application experience.

They all officially graduate from SLOHS today.

Expressions: What was your top choice school and why?

Senior Aidan Callarman: I’d say it was UCLA because I only applied to in-state schools, and since I didn’t necessarily have my heart set on one school, I wanted to be accepted to the ‘most prestigious’ UC.

Senior Ruby Houghton: I would say my top choice school was University of Colorado Boulder because they had a good business program and at the time I thought the UC’s did not have business programs.

Senior Matt Scurria: I didn’t really have a top choice school only because I hadn’t visited many places and so I didn’t know what I was looking for when it came to the location, atmosphere, academics, weather, etc. But, I think if I had the choice to go anywhere it probably would’ve been Stanford because I had visited there before and I loved the campus and the weather and it’s obviously a top university. But I didn’t have a school that I had my sights set on, I was just looking to branch out from slo.

Senior Duncan Speirs: Pitzer because I really enjoyed the academic rigor they offered and the location was big plus. Also they have a really good cross-country team.

Senior Brooke Jacobs: My top choice school was American University! I loved how politically active and sustainable the campus was when visiting and I felt like I really connected with the program director when interviewing. I’m a political science major so living in Washington DC was always a dream of mine.

Senior Jake Browning: My top choice for college initially was between Stanford and UCLA due in part to the fact that a few of family members had attended those schools as well as the prestige of the schools. 

Expressions: Where will you be attending school in the fall?

Callarman: I’ll be attending UC Davis in the fall because it’s a good school for my major and I can see myself becoming immersed in the great culture they’ve established there.

Houghton: I chose UC Santa Cruz because they do have a business program along with a fantastic computer science program which I am planning on minoring in.

Scurria: I’m going to UC Santa Barbara. I chose SB mainly because of the cost but also the location and academics. It was one of the cheaper universities I got into because it’s in-state and also I love the area surrounding UCSB. I wanted to go somewhere that was sunny, warm, and academically strong in my major so I chose SB. 

Speirs: Pitzer college. 

Jacobs: American University. 

Browning: Circumstances permitting, I plan to be attending UCLA in the fall. I ended up choosing the school due to its fantastic location and the academic excellence, as well as its award winning dining halls

Expressions: In hindsight do you think your top choice school was really a good fit for you?

Callarman: UCLA has a great political science program, a beautiful campus, and a great atmosphere so I can only guess it would have been a good fit. However, I got rejected and still have the opportunity to go to a very good university that I’m very excited to go to. 

Houghton: After thinking about it and getting into Boulder I realized it was far away and didn’t have as many advantages for me as Santa Cruz did. 

Expressions: Having been through the college application process, do you think having one ‘dream school’ is a good approach?

Callarman: The college application process is very stressful and very humbling at the same time and it made me realize that any college can be a ‘good fit’ for me if I have the right mindset. I think students should approach college apps with whatever priorities are most important to them but to not take it personally if they get rejected because that is something I struggled with a lot. 

Houghton: I would say keep an open mind because there are a lot of opportunities at other schools that you might not have seen.

Scurria: I don’t think it’s a good approach because I think it’s better to have an open mind to whatever schools you apply to. If you become super close minded about going to one school and you don’t get in, it can be really hard emotionally and mentally. But if you stay open minded about all schools as a potential location for the next four years then in the end you’ll be happier and more content with where you end up. 

Speirs: I think it’s a good way to motivate yourself. 

Jacobs: I think it’s a good approach if you know that there’s other schools you would also be super happy going to. I think it’s unrealistic to not have a dream school. 

Browning: It’s somewhat comforting to find a school that you feel fits you perfectly, but it’s important to keep an open mind throughout the process as you may be impressed by other schools that you may not have considered if focused solely on one school.

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