Got College Fever?

It is that time of year, the time during which the worst bug seems to be around. No need to frantically call your doctor and schedule an appointment when you have your college counselor by your side!

It is the season of college decisions and applications, and the seniors are either getting their letters back in the mail, or waiting for that vital paper to arrive. It is clear that there is a wild mix of emotions out there; from anxiety to insane happiness, you can find them all! We found some willing seniors who seemed to have found the miracle medicine for this fever, while some are still looking for that magic potion.

One amazing senior who still has her elixir in brew is Lydia Marshall (featured HERE in last month’s Mustard Show).  Lydia is majoring in materials science and engineering and has visited four out of the eight different colleges she applied to. College for seniors is a large step and will most likely dictate the next few years of their lives. In order to make the right decision a lot of consideration comes into play when choosing where to go.  Lydia tried visiting multiple colleges with various sizes and settings (large, small, rural, city) to see which type of school best fit her interest and liking.  For Lydia and many other seniors, the college they will be attending is not completely set in stone.  Lydia mentioned that she has not decided which college she will be attending, and is currently waiting for responses from her colleges on scholarships.  

 Lydia says that Penn State had “the most memorable impact,” due to its fun and family-like nature, as well as its school pride.  She hopes that Penn State has “…[the] equivalent of [MLHS’] stage crew…” because she enjoys spending a lot of her free time doing things for stage crew.  To keep up with her creative and artistic side, Lydia would also like to join some sort of art club in college.  

Dorian DeHart’s magical elixir is also brewing, as he is still deciding on what college he will be attending.  Dorian visited more than one college, but the campus and student life was what impressed Dorian the most because he believes that “each campus has a different feel and you’ll have to decide which one connects with you the most with the academics and student life.”  He looks forward to catching a glimpse of real life, even though he is nervous about “leaving the bubble of Mountain Lakes and Boonton Township”.  As for Dorian’s major, he will be majoring in natural science/STEM but he also wants to minor in theater, music, and dance to continue his passion.

High school seems to fly by- that test you marked in your calendar for next week seems to strike you the next day! But believe it or not, when you get to college, time will be in full overdrive, driving you, your hygiene, and your morals crazy! “[Dorian] heard [that time management] will be the biggest difference [from high school to college]… [and he] think[s] college will be more work.” 

Jeremy Anderson already has goals for his next journey on to college.  He was accepted to American University on December 15th, which is where he has decided to attend.  Jeremy visited a decent amount of schools, but American U was the one where Jeremy “immediately knew… [he] wanted to be”,  as it was the first college that he visited.  Jeremy believes that the most impressing aspect of AU is the students’ great  involvement in their community and the world around them.  Jeremy adds, “students are so politically active and I was super impressed by the International Relations program.”

Jeremy says that he must complete internships because he believes he must take advantage of the many opportunities Washington, D.C.  can grant him.  “Within minutes I could be in the State Department or the Spanish embassy interning.”  Jeremy plans on majoring in international relations, but may double major in Spanish and political science.  He hopes to participate in AU political groups, which are rated the most politically active in the country.  

Kate McMurry (left)

Kate McMurry is still deciding where her next journey in life will be.  Kate has been accepted into a few schools, but she still needs to audition for all the music programs.  The first school that Kate visited was one of her top choices, as she went to summer camp there and “absolutely loved it; both the city and the community were beautiful.”

There are many things that Kate is nervous, but equally excited about.  Kate is “incredibly nervous to leave this town behind,” as she knows she will greatly miss her close friends and family.    

Kate hopes that she can continue her love for music during school; she is crossing her fingers that music therapy and/or songwriting will be her major. She wants to soak up as much of the experiences and see the world as possible, which she hopes to accomplish by studying abroad and traveling.  One thing Kate knows for sure is that she will surround herself with music at college, and share her passion for music by joining some music and community service based clubs.

Ishani Mehta (right)

Ishani Mehta visited many colleges, as she describes herself as a careful chooser.  Ishani wanted to get a feeling for each school because she feels that she thrives  best in certain atmospheres. The student life is also very inspiring to Ishani: “You get to meet so many cool people who are doing such cool things with their lives.”   

Currently, Ishani plans to double major in chemical engineering and English, or even philosophy, as she’s still deciding.  Ishani is keeping her mind open for any possible changes because she will be introduced to many more courses in college.

In college, Ishani would like to learn Hindi because her family is Indian, and she is not fluent in an Indian language.  In addition, Ishani would like to continue her active participation in community service on a larger scale with service projects abroad.  “I’ve been looking at a lot of peer counseling groups that look really cool, so I want to be in one of those groups.” Ishani also wants to participate in some research in college, as she believes that research helps one to develop a fundamental understanding of an area of study.

 Lauren McCartney, another senior who has found her magical elixir, will be attending Centenary University in Hackettstown, New Jersey.  Lauren plans to study pop culture history with a degree in American History.

Although Lauren is eager to explore new places and meet new people, she will find leaving all her friends and teachers at Mountain Lakes challenging. Lauren feels she must join a club or sport in college, such as student run activities or intramural sports so she can make new friends.



Samantha Charwat found her elixir at once; she was accepted Early Decision at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York. Samantha toured numerous schools, where walking around the campus and receiving a sneak peek at college life was her favorite part. While visiting the schools, she took advantage of being able to ask the questions she had, and even met some of the current students to get their thoughts and perspectives on college life.  

Samantha explains that “at Skidmore everyone [she] talked to was so inviting, and visiting made [her] love the town of Saratoga Springs which made it more than just a great school.”  To continue her strong passion for dancing, Samantha definitely wants to continue the activity, either as a minor or a club.  Although she believes leaving the bubble of Mountain Lakes and the people she has known for so long will be the hardest part, Samantha is ready to branch out and meet new people.

Amanda Xu has also found her elixir; she will be attending the University of Pennsylvania, from which she heard of her acceptance “late at night on December 13th.”  She will be majoring in business because currently, she has found interest in behavioral economics, marketing, and social impact.  Amanda has visited various colleges mainly on the East Coast, but UPenn made a really good first impression on her. She describes that “the campus was bursting with life, there were people walking all up and down Locust walk, people standing outside handing out fliers, people gathering for a protest, etc.”

Amanda is very excited to meet people from all over the world and experience their diverse lives; she feels that because Mountain Lakes is a small town, she knows almost everyone.  The Mountaineer has been a huge aspect of Amanda’s high school life, so she is eager to join the school newspaper at UPenn. In addition, she is also excited about joining another writing group called the Kelly Writers House, and she is thinking of joining Penn’s coed service fraternity.

College is a major leap from high school; it is here where you gain control of your own lifestyle and are able to make decisions which you believe are suitable. Even though it has a much harder workload that might seem intimidating, many previous graduates say it was the best part of their schooling experience. For the seniors heading out of small town Mountain Lakes, we wish you good luck, and hope you truly enjoy the college experience.  Maybe the only cure for this college fever is to work hard and get the grades you want, so you can enter your dream school!


About Alia McLaughlin and Nicole Schoenherr ´21

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