You have permission to edit this article.

Fresh start: OSU’s incoming freshman navigate unordinary senior year, college application process

First Day of School

Industrial engineering freshman Grant Cotherman, left, and undecided freshman Adam Lugibihl pose for a first day of school photo during the first day of the fall semester 

When Jillian Montemayor, a high school senior from Dallas first visited Oklahoma State on March 11, the day before campus shut down, and it brought her to tears.

Emotions were high, her senior year of high school was pushed to Zoom and she had to apply to college, despite a pandemic.

“I chose OSU because I fell in love with the campus to the point where I cried when I left from my tour,” Montemayor said.

Montemayor, and thousands of other students in OSU’s class of 2025, are forced to navigate these challenges. The O’Colly spoke with five incoming OSU students who shared their thoughts on the struggles.

Application Process

The uncertainty of the fall 2021 semester at college looms in the minds of high school seniors as they start their application process. Applying to college is already a stressful process, even more with a pandemic, but some incoming OSU freshmen have reported their application process to be fairly smooth. 

“The application process was pretty easy, not too complicated compared to other schools I have applied to. OSU has an amazing admissions council,” said Cheyenne Fox, a senior from western Oklahoma. 

To some, it wasn’t the pandemic that caused stress, but rather the typical things most high school seniors have to deal with in the application process.  

“The only thing that was hard was deciding what to write about in my essays as well as taking the SAT/ACT,” Jillian Montemayor said.

Senior Year Experience

With the pandemic changing nearly every aspect of life, many future OSU students had their final year before college torn from them. In fact, this experience was unlike anything Kailee Aston, a senior from Fort Worth, Texas, has ever encountered.

“My senior year so far is not what I expected,” Aston said. “Many events have been cancelled, including homecoming, which is always so fun. Even football games are not the same and there is such a lack of school spirit.”

But with a potential vaccine or future treatments for COVID-19 gaining traction, some seniors are optimistic for the second half.

“It’s been OK so far, the pandemic has really taken its toll on my senior year,” Fox said. “Games have been canceled, and a few band and color guard competitions as well. Other than that, it’s been pretty great, and I’m hoping for a memory filled second semester.” 

Excitement About OSU

Because of the peaks and valleys in some senior years, OSU is serving as a glimmer of hope for the class of 2025.

“OSU has always felt like home,” said senior Emmy Alfred, from Pauls Valley. “I was very unsure last year, but I wanted to go to a big school like OSU where there are always new people to meet. I am so excited to make new friends and experience the atmosphere in Stillwater.”

Some referenced Greek life, football or traditions as some of the main factors in their excitement, but one stuck out overall: the home-like atmosphere of OSU’s college town. 

“There is something about being in Stillwater that makes me feel like I belong,” Montemayor said.