Striving for Success
Romelyn Joy Tabangcura | Maui High School
Senior year: a time in high school where hundreds of students spend their last year taking in school lessons and making new memories one last time. Although senior year may come to an end, it is also the start of a new beginning as seniors move on to further their education by heading off to college in various universities ranging from community colleges to private schools. College is an exciting time where students go on to achieve their goals and aspirations. As they head on towards tomorrow, they cherish and share their experiences they’ve collected over the past four years onward to the next class of aspiring college bound seniors.
Aubrey Santiago shares her thoughts about attending college and her plans after high school. “I grew up knowing that college was my main goal after high school. College is greatly valued in my family and having an extended education, beyond high school, would be very beneficial for careers and work in the future. I believe that gaining new and great opportunities after high school, most especially through going to college, would be an easy transition for some individuals. I am planning to attend college and work to gain more experiences and relationships with organizations to further my knowledge and skills.” She goes on to say that after graduating high school she plans to attend the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. “I will be majoring in Medical Technology and plan to minor in an area coequal to my overall career goal of being a pediatric healthcare provider. After obtaining my bachelor’s degree, I hope to either go on to get my Master’s degree, specializing in Pediatrics at UH Manoa or move on to gaining a Ph.D.” Like most students, Aubrey has completed scholarships in hopes to fund her college education. She says “Applying for scholarships were, honestly, very stressful and time consuming, though the work and many hours that are put into filling out scholarships is all the more rewarding. When I first started applying, it was hard to gather my thoughts and schedule the time to write my essays, Letters of Recommendations, and request for school transcripts. Though, as I applied for more, it became easier to upload all my information, seeing that it took less and less time to finish an application. Scholarships are a great way to attain money and funds for not only college but also work after high school. There are many different scholarships for different student backgrounds, skills, and interests. I encourage students to apply for scholarships because it will not only lessen the financial distress that some may have or not but also help students to go out of their comfort zone, having to do interviews, ask for Letters of Recommendations and more. Subsequently, this will aid people in opening doors towards their goals and aspirations.”
Bradley Domingo, an aspiring Secondary Math teacher says “I plan to go to college at UHMC to get my Associates Degree, then either transfer to UH Manoa or Washington State University.” He strives to become a Secondary Math teacher because “I want to help students in the future understand math. My friends ask for help all the time when it comes to math, and it makes me happy seeing them smile once they understand it. I honestly want to see the same expression when I become a teacher one day.” Bradley is part of the Maui High AVID program that prepares college bound students to succeed after high school. Bradley says his experience in AVID has “brought me one step closer to my dreams and aspirations. Without it, I don’t even see myself being extroverted. It taught me to come out of my comfort zone and gave me the little push I needed.” In order to aid in achieving his dream, he has applied for the Free Application Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and believes he has benefited from the government based program because “my family is able to provide and what the government is able to give through work-study; a type of job at a college that’s able to pay for your education and it’s fitted to your schedule.” Although college can bring an abundant amount of self-improvement and career exploration, it can also be challenging for students. Bradley says that the three characteristics that he believes are needed to succeed after high school are “effort, time, and planning. When doing anything in your life, it’s important to give the most effort possible because it shows that you take pride in that particular subject. Giving all your time shows that you want to put your life into it meaning, nothing is distracting you or pulling you away from it. Lastly, planning is probably the most critical because when you’re not following a schedule, it throws you off and you can’t get anything done on time.”
Daniza Faith Nono plans to attend Pacific University Oregon and stay there for eight years in order to complete her Ph.D. in Psychology and Neuroscience to become either a Clinical Psychologist, Psychiatrist, or Therapist. She explains, however, that “I think college is the biggest gamble and investment in your life. You never really know if your outcome is what you previously predicted. That being said, I still plan to go to college, Pacific University Oregon. College may be a gamble but you can still steer it as you go and make your chances broader. A complete education to me is important as it shows that you’re willing to understand a subject more, creating depth, interest, and experience.” In order to one day achieve her career goals, Daniza has applied to many scholarship applications. She explains her experience with applying for scholarships as “the most stressful thing to complete in my life. Not only are you completing 8–10 pages worth of information but you’re also given a time limit and date of completion. But that’s no matter though since they do help you reflect on what you’ve done during High school and it helps with paying tuition, which is what I really need as well as much of others, knowing that lots of families here work double maybe even triple jobs to make ends meet.” As for FAFSA, she says that her experience with applying was “stressful not for me but for my parents. They had to find their past filed taxes, dig through mountains of paper and stress about something that didn’t even give me anything. Yeah, you heard that right. I wasn’t able to get a single dime since my parent’s income is ‘too much,’ even though the state average income here is way higher than the income there on the mainland. It was only beneficial when it came to scholarship applications since it was a requirement.” Although preparing for college comes with many challenges, Daniza leaves the next class of seniors with thoughtful tips and suggestions to prepare for the college application process. “To all of the upcoming seniors applying to college, start early. I understand if you’re busy and can’t get around doing them but I promise it’ll be much better to do it when things are a bit busy, than when everything is bursting into flames. When applying to colleges, you have options to either send in an essay or an extra LOR. If they give you this option, do it. You get a better chance of explaining why this way is what on your resume or transcript. Lastly, don’t stress. Don’t worry if you don’t get into the college of your dreams, there are plenty out there that give out the same curriculum!”
Sebastian Montero-Quemado, an aspiring food scientist says my “plan after high school is to attend a four-year college on the mainland which I’m still deciding on and to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Food Science. After college, I intend to work on the mainland for some months and then move back to Maui to work somewhere else in the food production industry.” Transitioning from high school to college can be tricky, Sebastian says “it’s going to be different from high school since I’m going to be surrounded by a diverse community of different races along with being surrounded by individuals coming from different states and countries.” On the other hand, his experience in high school has taught him fundamental characteristics which are vital in order to succeed in college. He explains “my top three characteristics that are needed to succeed after high school is Confidence, to allow you to enter a new world of adulting as an individual. Sociable, to allow you to communicate and meet new individuals on creating a new bond since everybody is potentially going on their own ways from their original set of friends. Lastly, you need Teamwork because you need it to help you work with new individuals again on creating a bond and standard towards success since we’re genuinely set to work with new faces and to complete a task as a team.” To the upcoming seniors, Sebastian advises students to “set a plan on which college you aspire to be into the colleges that are your safety, just in case you don’t get accepted to your dream school. Also, look into universities that are within the W.U.E. system since it allows you to not pay the Out-of-State Tuition. Plan on taking the SAT and ACT early so you’d reach the requirements for whatever college you’re going to. Finally, apply to as many scholarships you could possibly find to reduce your cost of going to college.”
As senior year comes to an end, thousands of seniors across the nation remain hopeful and optimistic as they go on to the world and go after their goals and aspirations. High school may be coming to an end but it has taught all of us to never give up and keep going. As the class of 2020 strives for success, future generations of seniors are ready as the class of 2020 leads the way to a better and beautiful tomorrow.
Google® Is Not Everything is a monthly column authored by high school students. The title of the column emphasizes that education is more than just googling a topic. Google® is a registered trademark. This month’s guest columnist is Romelyn Joy Tabangcura, a senior at Maui High School. She is the current president of Maui High HOSA-Future Health Professionals (second from the right in the photo), which recently returned from the HOSA CTSO (Career and Technical Student Organizations) with 16 medalists, including a first place finish by Tabangcura in Human Growth and Development. She is also a member of the National Honor Society, a prestigious organization of students who show scholarship, leadership, service and character. Romelyn aspires to be a Nurse Practitioner one day. She is the daughter of Romeo and Roselyn Tabangcura.