The Student News Site of Hickman High School

Purple and Gold News

The Student News Site of Hickman High School

Purple and Gold News

The Student News Site of Hickman High School

Purple and Gold News

The future is bright

Hickman seniors prepare for the next step in their careers

Celebrating signing seniors

For seniors, these next couple of months are crucial in planning and preparing for the next phase in their lives. The Class of 2024 is soaking up as much time together as they can before their graduation in May. 


Outside of the classroom, seniors are going to as many sporting events as possible, coming up with fun theme ideas for games, spirit weeks, and various other traditions. While this time in many seniors’ lives can be exciting, it is also a busy time with frustrations, worries, and stress circulating around them. 


With college decisions and application deadlines coming up, seniors are scrambling to finish their college essays and applications and make sure their ACT scores are up to par. 


Many athletes at Hickman have added pressure as they are not only focusing on their applications but also deciding where or if they want to continue their sport at the collegiate level. 


Last semester, Hickman’s 2023 graduating class signed 11 letters of intent on National Signing Day. Class of 2024 is projected to have even more, with Abby Eddy, Addie Throckmorton, and Connor Lovin signing in October, among many other athletes who have committed to various colleges and will be signing later this year. 


Abby signed to Auburn University to race on their equestrian team. Abby has had many top 10 finishes including the 2023 AQHA Youth World Show.

Abbie Eddy (12) signs to Auburn University.


“I talked to some of the coaches at the horse shows and they asked me to come on official visits. From there, I just kind of picked which college I saw as the best fit,” Abby said. 


Abby chose Auburn because of how similar the college town is to Mizzou’s campus, where she grew up. 


“It gives me a chance to go further away from home, but still a similar size town,” she explained. 


Abby is excited to compete with the Auburn Equestrian team for the next four years. 


Another senior expanding their boundaries outside of Columbia is Connor Lovin. 


Connor is a left-handed pitcher on the Hickman baseball team and a three-year varsity member. He signed with East Central College in November to play baseball. 


When asked why he chose that college he explained that “baseball is the only reason.”


Lovin is excited to continue his baseball career at the next level. 


With the commitments and signings winding down for 2023, the focus for the seniors is shifting to scholarships and financial aid help. 


Seniors Prepare for Financial Aid                                                                    

Financial aid and paying for college are usually high on seniors’ priority lists, but this year may be a little different because FAFSA is not opening until Dec. 31. However, Hickman has a plan. 

On Jan. 16,  FAFSA Frenzy will be held in Hickman’s library.  All of the financial aid offices from colleges in and around Columbia will come to talk to seniors and their families one-on-one to help students fill out their FAFSA forms. Students are advised to prepare ahead of time for the frenzy. 


“The one thing that students need to remember is that they have to have their ID pin number done before they come in because it takes a couple of days to get that back. And so we’re telling them do it now, and then when you come in on the sixteenth, you’ll be ready to go,” counselor Paige Reed said.


Reed provided a packet of information regarding post-secondary planning Which includes information about senior timelines and finding the best fit for you. There is also information about financial aid. Students can go to the counseling office and request this packet for themselves.


The post-secondary planning guide offers “basic building blocks so you can know the questions to ask and who can answer…” and advises to “watch Schoology for parent and student sessions on Financial Aid and the FAFSA,” according to the guide.


There are two kinds of Financial Aid offered to students. There are grants, where the money is awarded usually due to financial need, and there are loans, which is money that is lent from an agency.


“Anybody who’s going to college needs to complete the FAFSA application, whether you’re getting the money or not,” guidance secretary Lisa Chalupny said.


Support in school

Throughout the year, seniors take on college applications, financial aid, and all of the many steps to prepare for college. Hickman staff has done work to ensure that students are well prepared.


“I feel like Hickman counselors prepare you a lot for college. They give you materials and they offer a lot of outside-of-school clubs and activities,” Elena Hoffman said.

Alaina Kimmons (12) interviewed Elena Hoffman (12) about her college plans and how she feels about leaving high school. (Ashlyn McFarland)


Elena has used the Common Application for all of her schools, including Long Island University, Rockhurst, and Coastal Carolina University.


Many seniors are planning to continue their sport in college, and Hickman teams have prepared them for this.


“Hickman track taught me a lot of life-long skills,” Elena said. She talks about her coaches and teammates, referring to her experience as a great time, and it will be sad to leave 


“I’m going to be really sad leaving my people when I go to college, but I’m also very excited to see what the next level has for me,” Elena said. 


Leaving high school behind can be a bittersweet transition, and some find it scary, freeing, or exciting. Living in a college dorm is a big change from the high school structure.


“I’m not ready to live on my own,” Harrison Kimmons (12) said. 


Many people may not feel ready for college, and the nerves can be overwhelming.


Hickman has done its best to provide support for seniors who feel lost, with counselors being available to meet and teachers willing to write recommendations.


“I feel like Hickman has given me a very realistic sense of the college process,” Luis Guevara-Garcia (12) said. 


Luis does morning announcements and said it will be weird without that routine every day.


AVID also plays a big role in college preparation. AVID helps students succeed in their high school classes by teaching them note-taking skills and organization tips. AVID visits colleges to give students a look into their future. 


“The college visits that we go on usually are pretty close. This year, we’ve gone to UMKC and then Wash U,” said Alonna Nelson (12). 


She has been in AVID for all four years of high school and has been preparing for college. 


“Everybody is going to a big university,” she said.


AVID can provide students with access to financial aid as well. 


“I go with AVID since they could advise me with scholarships and such,” Rianna Catlin said.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Purple and Gold News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *