College Decisions: The Future of HMSA’s Senior Class

Osborne Lopez, Writer

What are some factors that impact the college picking process? Why did you apply to the colleges that you applied to? What major(s) do you see yourself choosing? These are all questions that I will be asking as I speak to some of HMSA’s senior class about COLLEGE DECISIONS. Let’s see what the class of 2022 may have in store for the future.


The first person I interviewed was Hope Luna. She gave insight into many factors regarding her college picking process, and I think we got some gems. Let’s take a look: 


How are you doing today, Hope?

I’m doing great!


That’s good! So, are you ready for this interview? 

Yeah, I’m ready. 


Alright, first question I want to ask you, are there any specific colleges you applied to, and why did you apply to them? 

Ok so, off the top of my head, I remember I applied to Stanford, LMU, UCLA, Irvine, Santa Cruz, Mount St. Mary’s, CSU Bakersfield, CSU Northridge, and I think a couple others.


Ok, and do you think there are any specific factors that contributed to your decision?

Yeah, so I actually wanted to get into law school and for me, because of how competitive that major is, I tried looking at which schools were known best for that. I want to be a lawyer in the future and I’ve already taken a political science course over the summer at El Camino, so my target is to have a political science major. By going into these schools, those have the highest chance of getting into a good law school. 


Is there any reason you chose law specifically?

I’ve been told on multiple occasions that I like to argue a lot (laughs) and that I talk a lot…I mean, when I was younger I didn’t want to do law. I think I just remember saying, “Oh, yeah. I’ll do it,” because I found out how much money they usually make. I think I wanted to be something in the arts, like a singer or an actress. That’s what I wanted, and then my mom was like “no.” Next best option was an accountant and I said, “No, I hate numbers.” So, I got into talking about me being a lawyer, and my family joked that I could be the next Elle Woods.


Now, are there any tips you would give anyone for the college picking process or the application process?

Ok so, for that I would say, know what suits you best. So, know about your major, know about the public setting, and know about the distance you’re willing to go. Right now we are looking at me going to Mt. St. Mary’s. It’s pretty close by, it doesn’t have a law school connected to it, but that’s the plan because of how cost effective it is, how close it is to home, and because of the familiarity that my family has with the school. I personally would have preferred a bigger campus, because I like to be social, but it also helps to have a smaller campus because then you get more one-on-one time with the teachers. I feel like we have that at HMSA, but some people are like, “No, this is too much interaction for me.” Then, you know, it’s all up to personal choice, but people should definitely know about what they’re willing to do socially and look into what their family can afford. Definitely, definitely, apply to as many scholarships as you can, even if it might take an extra minute. Every little penny counts.


Really helpful tip. Now, the last question I want to ask you, where do you see yourself in about five to ten years, and how do you think college will help you get there?

I feel like in the next five to ten years, I see myself still being in school. That’s just because of how my family is. I know that in my house my mom requires us to get a master’s degree. So I just see myself still in school. Hopefully still being social, hopefully having a significant other or something, but other than that it’s just school is basically all I know. It kind of sounds depressing when I put it like that but-


Not a bad thing to have some education.

Yeah, it’s not bad to have some education! But it doesn’t mean that you need to rely strictly on education. Some stuff comes best from experience rather than what you’re learning in the classroom.


I wholeheartedly agree with that. Now, last question-

For real this time (laughs).


Yeah, for real this time (laughs). How do you think your home life, or your social life, set you up for the application process and how you picked your college?

So, for my home life, I know that I had a very wide age gap between me and my sisters. I am about ten years younger than them, so that made it very hard for me to interact with them when I was really young, because they didn’t want to babysit a child. It kind of made me mature faster because I had to be able to keep up in their conversations if I wanted anyone to hang out with at home. So, I think that it definitely helps out with social skills, depending on who you’re surrounded by. If you’re surrounded by people who are your age, you’re most likely going to act like people who are around your age. For school life, because I had limited interactions at home, it definitely made me want to talk to as many people as possible. However, I understand that I am not everyone’s cup of tea, because I can be very straightforward sometimes (laughs), and that’s okay with me. Two people, they can be good people, and just not like each other or not be compatible.


I agree with that. I think that’s just an amazing tip for the real world in general. Not everyone is going to like you and that’s okay. And, yeah, I think that’s an amazing tip. Well, thank you, Hope, for having this interview with me. I really enjoyed this, and I hope you have an amazing rest of your day.

You hope? (laughs)



You too.


The next person that I interviewed was Jonathan Yanez. We talk about his interest in computer science and the future he sees himself having in, not only that field, but his many other interests. Let’s see what we’ve got:



How are you doing today?

Doing pretty well.


Alright, that’s good! So, do you think you could list some of the colleges you applied to and why?

I applied to Cal Poly because I somewhat like the college there, and it had what I wanted. Also, El Camino because it’s real close by and, yeah, not too much of an inconvenience.


Do you think you could elaborate on the application process?

The process? Uh, I was a bit hesitant with it, especially with the CSUs. I was only able to get a few, which were Cal Poly and Fullerton for CSUs. I just suggest that you start ahead because I didn’t and I barely-I didn’t get it.


Do you think there are any outside factors, like your social life or your home life, that intervened with your process or helped influence you?

I say it does, but in applying, not so much. I’d say if there were any type of interviews, actual in-person interviews, then for sure. But as far as applying, no, I don’t think so.


I know in my google form you said you were interested in computer science. Do you think you could elaborate on why?

Well, I was interested, at least last year, in computer science and Python. This year I took an elective for intro to computer science and I really enjoyed it. It’s very frustrating, but in the end it’s very rewarding when you finally get to understand what you’re doing. I just find it fun.


Are there any tips that you would give anyone who is applying to college next year, or to anyone waiting?

For sure. You don’t have to plan, because it’s really hard to. At least have an idea and have some options. Apply to those who have your options and have a large variation of them, because you’re not going to get into all of them. Be mindful.


I know scholarships are a big part of the college process, because you always want that extra support. Do you think there is anything about scholarships you want to mention? Maybe where to apply or anything like that?

To be honest, I’m not sure. I know there was the EOP. I wasn’t able to get it because I couldn’t find two teachers to fill it out for me because I never really asked, but for sure try to do that. There’s also Mr. Valdivia. He sends out the form for scholarships. It’s very lengthy, so if you’re really determined to get a scholarship, for sure focus on that. Search around, but other than that.


I also asked this question on my form, but where do you see yourself in five to ten years and how do you think college is going to help you get there?

So what I want to do is go through college and I’d say become a freelancer so I can expand my knowledge with computer science and have different types of projects. Eventually, maybe getting a job in computer science, and also doing little studies on the side with things I like.


So you mention other stuff you like, what are those other interests that you have?

Well for one, astronomy. I like space and everything, especially when they (NASA) saw the black hole for the first time, the first image.


Oh wow. I know they sent out a telescope recently, a new one.

Yeah, it somewhat looks like how they imagined it. Two, I like history. It’s very enjoyable and cruel, but also cool to see what we’ve done to get where we are. I think that’s all. I can’t remember any more.


Alright, thank you for this interview. I learned a lot and I hope you have a great day.

Thank you. You too.


Next, I interviewed Emma Castaneda. She’s a fellow writer for our newspaper and is one of our editors. I was particularly excited to interview her and rightfully so. Let’s see what we’ve got:


Hi Emma. How are you doing today?

I’m good, and you?


I’m doing amazing. So I’m going to ask you some questions about your college picking process and your application process. Are you ready?

Yeah. 🙂


Alright, so the first question I want to ask you is, which colleges did you apply to and why? 

Okay, so I applied to Cal State Fullerton. I also applied to Cal State Northridge, Cal State Channel Islands, UC Riverside, and Cal State LA. 


Alright, and do you think there’s any specific factors that went into why you chose these colleges?

Well, probably because some of them are closer to where I live too, so that was a major factor for me. Also, another factor for me was the majors that the schools provided. Basically all these school had the major and were close by.


Which majors do you think you may be interested in?

So the major that I chose is biology, so I’m probably going to go into the bio-field, but right now I’m still choosing my minor. I might go into microbiology, or I’m even thinking about geology too.


What about biology do you think interests you the most?

I feel like with bio, my interest comes from all of the research that has to be done. Personally, I don’t want to do office work; I want to kind of go out into a lab, because I don’t want to be just sitting around like at school. I want to actually go out and do stuff.


Out of all the colleges you applied to, do you think there is any specific one you are leaning more towards?

Well, yes. I would say Cal State Fullerton because it is close by and it has the major that I want. It has a good program, which actually starts you in your undergrad year working towards your master’s degree, which is what I’m striving for. That’s probably the one I’m leaning towards.


I know that scholarships are a very big thing when it comes to applying for college, and how you get through college, do you think there are any tips for how to apply and where to apply?

So, I recommend that everyone starts applying as soon as you can. Even if you’re not a senior, because you’ll get more if they see you keep trying and trying. Apply first, maybe for your workload, for the easier ones where you don’t have to do much work for them. You also have a better chance at getting the ones you have to write an essay for because of the fact that most people don’t do those since they have other work to worry about.


How do you think your social life at school, or your home life, contributed to how you ended up applying for colleges?

Well for me, my family always pushed me to do better than them, and they want me to get a master’s degree and go to college. Also, with friends, they always pushed me to do more work and stuff like that.


Alright, last question, in about five to ten years, where do you see yourself and how do you think you’ll get there?

Let’s see. I probably see myself, hopefully, working to get my PhD, because that’s what I’m striving to do. I plan to get my master’s, then go for my PhD. I’ll probably be working at night school or online courses just for that. That’s probably where I see myself in ten years, hopefully.


Alright, very interesting. Thank you, Emma!

Thank you.


I want to say thank you to the students that participated in the interviews: Hope, Jonathan, and Emma. I was nervous for these interviews and didn’t know if it would work, but you guys had amazing responses. You made this possible and I wish you the best of luck in the future. Congrats Class of 2022, you made it!