Throughout four years of high school, students prepare for their futures



After finishing what is said to be the hardest year of high school, students finally get to go into their senior year. Senior year is meant to be carefree and your last year as being a kid. While this is mostly true there is still the inevitable progression into life and therefore college. Senior students at Hays High School are more than prepared to take the next steps, but are skeptical about what is to come.

For kids that choose to go into college by senior year, they have already applied or been accepted to multiple colleges. While the hard part was done in junior year, there are still many stressful things to do as a senior to prepare for college.

Preparing for college includes many different tasks such as applying to colleges and scholarships, signing to schools for sports, and being ready to live on your own.

“I am continuing wrestling in college, and things I have done to accomplish this is being consistent with my sport all-year round and putting in a little bit of extra work in the wrestling room and outside of it,” senior Sarah Zimmerman said.

Heading to college is stressful enough, but for students also pursuing sports it can be especially hard. There are many techniques student-athletes use to get prepared.

“I’m preparing for college by applying for scholarships and taking concurrent credit courses that align with my major,” senior Chase Summers said.

Even if students are not pursuing sports there are many new challenges coming their way. The biggest has been the rising costs of college, but students have been preparing through scholarships and taking concurrent credit in high school. Both of these help with lowering the costs of college and making it more accessible.

“Senior year is somehow the most stressful and relaxing year of high school, but I’m ready to start moving on,” senior Jalynn Weilert said.

This year is made to be the final step before college and most take advantage of this opportunity. Current seniors are always ready to share their knowledge and advice about senior year.

“Prioritize scholarships and apply for as many as possible to make college as cheap as it can be,” Summers said.

“Listen to the advice your teachers and parents give you during the college process. Staying organized and on top of things in school is a big one, because it can be hard to manage everything,” Zimmerman said.

These are important pointers that all seniors are keeping in mind before heading off to college. The students at Hays High are ready to head off on their next adventure after senior year. Especially because of how the school has helped them to be the most prepared they could be for the coming years in college and beyond.

On January 25th in the Hays High cafeteria senior Jace St. Peters signed with Ottawa University to continue his career in soccer. He recently decided to play at Ottawa after much consideration about other schools. Peters has recently moved here from Haiti to go to school and now further his education at college.


Junior year is said to be the most stressful, overwhelming, and toughest year of high school. You begin to start thinking about college and preparing yourself for the future. The juniors at Hays High would agree with this. Many of them plan on taking the ACT and other standardized tests, as well as taking college classes.
Hays High offers a variety of college classes to juniors and seniors. Junior Aubree Thomas is taking five of those, including AP US History, Psychology, CIS, Sociology, and Human Biology.
“It can be overwhelming taking this many classes, especially just as a junior in high school. But, I know that it will all be worth it in college,” Thomas said.
Along with taking college classes, juniors also prepare themselves in taking the ACT. One way they do this is by taking an ACT Prep class. During the class, students learn how to take the test, perform practice problems, and get paper resources to continue studying.
“Taking the ACT Prep class was very beneficial and I feel like it will help me do well on the ACT,” junior Henry Fitzthum said.
Fitzthum is not only preparing himself for college, but he is attempting to have an associate’s degree by the time he graduates high school. To do this, he is taking many concurrent credit classes. He also goes to Fort Hays State University to take Calculus 1 and 2. Taking this path would put him as a junior in college by the time he graduates high school. His main reason for doing this is because it will save him a sufficient amount of money.
Many juniors also go on college visits throughout the year. Colleges like Fort Hays State University, Kansas State University, and NCK-Tech, reach out to students letting them know that they can schedule a visit. Junior Colin Clark toured two colleges, Barton Community College and Pratt Community College, this October. Clark mainly went for athletic purposes.
“I got to play with the Pratt tennis team and experience what their practices were like,” Clark said.
Clark also got to tour each campus and explore the radiology department. Radiology has always been a career interest for him, so seeing what an actual college radiology department looked like help prepare him in deciding on his future studies.
“It was very useful seeing the radiology department because it just helped confirm that it is something I would like to pursue in the future,” Clark said.

On Tuesday, January 31st, senior Lily Biggs and juniors Trennedy Woolsey and Julia Zadina work on a project in Elements of Statistics, taught by Mrs. Chelsea Haskett. It is one of the college math classes offered at Hays High. “I am able to receive a college credit and remain in a small classroom while doing so,” Woolsey said about the Elements of Statistics.


Not that long ago, sophomores did not think about preparing for college. Now sophomores are given many opportunities to get ready for college. Sophomores like every other grade level take a career placement test that helps each student know which classes to enroll in, allowing students to explore future careers through their class selections. Applying for scholarships are also available for sophomores along with taking the pre-SAT. Finally, taking advanced English, math, and or science courses will help sophomores be able to take classes in their high school future for college credit.
“I have and will continue to take several classes that will lead me to my career path, so I can spend less time in undergraduate school and become a doctor faster; this includes taking lots of math and science classes,” sophomore Isabelle Jones said.
Jones also said how she is trying to take as many advanced classes as possible.
“This year I took Elements of Statistics, which is a college class, and I am taking trigonometry this semester. The outlook for my math classes is to complete Calculus 1 and 2 my junior year, and Calculus 3 my senior year through FHSU,” Jones said.
Along with saying how she is very studious and takes her education seriously, so she often does several hours of schoolwork outside of the school day.
Preparing for college doesn’t always have to be taking advanced classes. It can simply be keeping your grades up, not falling behind in class, and taking an active role in extracurricular activities.
“I have not applied for any scholarships yet but I am trying my hardest in school by studying to maintain good grades,” sophomore Feyden Hileman said.
Vanessa Schumacher, Honors English teacher, prepares her students for college in variety of ways. Sophomore Honors English students study ACT words along with taking a practice ACT test. This test helps students find out roughly what their ACT score could be on the English portion, so then students know what to study. In Honors English students also research and present information about a career they are interested in plus the schooling it would take to achieve that career.
Sophomores who are interested in the health profession can take Lynn Zimmerman’s Introduction to Health Careers class. As part of the class students take a field trip to KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas where they get to tour the campus, talk to different health professionals, and also preform simply procedures on mock dummies with the help of the medical staff. At the end of this semester long course many sophomores realize they are interested in the medical profession, or they can rule it out as a profession.
Sophomores also prepare for college by learning what different universities have to offer. At the beginning of this school year, Hays High had a college fair that sophomores were able to attend. The college fair had booths from many different universities that would explain the positives of going to each university and what degrees were offered through each university.

Sophomore Riley Dreher double checks her answers on a practice ACT English exam in a Sophomore Honors English class on February 7th. Students in this class work throughout the year learning the best techniques for taking the English portion of the ACT.


Whether it’s in academics or athletics, students from Hays High have been preparing for college for years. Hays High courses along with the athletic program open doors for students each year. Freshman even has numerous ways to get involved and ready for their future endeavors.
There is a variety of courses that are offered to freshman that can prepare them for college. These courses try to combine opportunities and lessons that will help students feel ready for their future in college.
One of the most beneficial core classes offered to freshmen is Honors English. This class helps prepare students for one of the biggest scholarships offered in Hays, the Dane Hansen Scholarship, but will also teach materials that are referred to in college such as classical novels.
“When professors are making references about certain works, they should know what Romeo and Juliet is about.” Teacher Lisa Renz said.
Renz’s courses also provide students with vocabulary words that are often found on the ACT and SAT.
Along with core classes, electives are specifically designed to help students prepare for future careers in various fields. One popular elective at Hays High is Intro to Health careers taught by Lynn Zimmerman. This class offers opportunities for students to learn about numerous careers in health. One big part of this class is a trip to KU Med to discover the numerous opportunities offered to students.
“If people aren’t sure what health career, they want to take they should go on the KU trip because it’s really helpful.”
Sophomore Kyleigh Brown said who took the class last year and plans on continuing her interest in health in college.
In addition to the courses that are offered many freshmen are also taking advantage of the extracurriculars at Hays High. From FFA to Football many different scholarships are handed out for students that are involved.
FFA is a growing club at Hays High that offers many opportunities to participants. Freshman Maci Vanek has excelled in FFA so far this year and feels it will continue to help her.
“I feel like FFA is going to help me the most in college just because there’s a lot of leadership skills that are involved” Vanek said.
Along with this Vanek plans to continue to pursue this interest at the college level.
Another major college opportunity at Hays High is athletics, and especially football. The Hays High football program has recently produced multiple college athletes at various levels. Freshman Jonathan Rigler is hoping to be one of the future athletes that will make it to the college level.
“I have been working out and showing up to all of the practices because I would like to be able to keep playing football in college,” Rigler said.
Rigler also feels like football will be beneficial in college classes because it has taught him dedication.

On Wednesday, February 1st, freshman Jaci Schmidt studies ACT prep vocab words in a Freshman Honors English class. Students have been learning words that will most likely appear throughout the ACT, which is very beneficial for students preparing for college. “If you’re going to college, you should be taking the honors courses,” sophomore English teacher, Vanessa Schumacher said.