Seniors commit to in-state, out-of-state universities


Adrian Kavazovic

Seniors Isabel Campillo and Nathan Henderson have committed to the University of Virginia, located about an hour away from Harrisonburg. Senior Jaiden Brooks has committed to an out-of-state college called Frostburg State University to play soccer for their team.

Many seniors at Harrisonburg High School have committed to the colleges they are going to attend. Seniors Nathan Henderson, Isabel Campillo and Jaiden Brooks have all committed to the colleges for the fall of 2021.

“I actually applied early decision [to the University of Virginia], so it was like a binding agreement. I had some other colleges that I had applications ready to go if I didn’t get in, but I didn’t really have to make a decision because of that,” Henderson said. 

Henderson committed to the University of Virginia (UVA) and is looking forward to starting school there in the fall. He applied early decision to UVA since it is a good in-state school, as well as the fact that many of his family members went there.

“Both of my parents went there and my brother went there, but also it’s a very prestigious college that’s in-state so it’s kind of an obvious choice to me. It [is also] far enough away from where we live that I feel like I’d get distanced from my family and Harrisonburg, but also have them if I need them as well,” Henderson said. 

Campillo also committed to the University of Virginia and applied early decision. She is most looking forward to participating in campus activities and meeting new people. Campillo plans on majoring in nursing.  

“I [chose UVA] because of the program for nursing; that’s the main reason. It has a super good nursing program [that] does a really good job at training people, and I didn’t really see any other schools with that good of a program,” Campillo said. 

After college, Campillo plans on being a labor and delivery nurse or a midwife. She wants to become one of those two because of a mentorship she did at the hospital in her junior year. During this mentorship, she got to be in the labor and delivery wing and see the newborn babies being delivered. 

“I love babies and they’re so cute, [and] to be able to see their life coming into the world, I just think that would be a really cool and rewarding career,” Campillo said. 

Brooks committed to Frostburg State University (FSU) because he got recruited for their soccer program. Brooks plans on majoring in education but is more looking forward to pursuing his soccer career over at FSU.   

 “I chose [FSU] because one, academically they are very productive, [and]  two… because once again I was being recruited by their soccer program and that’s a big thing for me, to play soccer in college and [pursue a career in soccer]. After college, I’m looking to intern at a number of places or during my college experience. I’m looking to intern at a number of schools or healthcare facilities in order to support the major that I am enrolled [in],” Brooks said. 

Brooks would like to become a physical education teacher so he can inspire other people just like teachers do. In his eyes, he believes that everyone has a favorite teacher, and he thinks that they want to be like them and inspire others on a daily basis.  

“I want to inspire the people that are around me whether that be through soccer or just simply being a teacher… you always have that one cool teacher that you just [say], ‘Wow, I want to be like them’.  I want to inspire others the same way they inspire [other] people,” Brooks said. 

Henderson, Campillo and Brooks did not have many struggles when filling out their applications for the colleges they would like to commit to.  

“I applied early decision to UVA which means that I only had to do one application total, and it was just one main essay and two shorter essays, so it wasn’t very difficult at all,” Campillo said. 

Campillo’s biggest challenge when answering the questions on the application was figuring out what to do for her main essay.  

“[My biggest struggle was] my main essay which was very open-ended, [and it] just asked [you to] write about anything you want. It was [around] 750 words, so you kind of had to come up with a random topic that would show UVA that you’re a candidate they wanted to choose,” Campillo said. 

Brooks had a lot of support when filling out his application. After looking at his friends’ struggles with filling out applications, he found the application process to be much easier, considering his supportive background.  

 “I didn’t see the application process as complicated because I had people supporting me. In other aspects like looking at my friends’ situations, they didn’t have people by their side helping them so it made it harder for them, and I felt for them because I had a supportive background… I had a supportive background [which helped me a lot] so it wasn’t really hard,” Brooks said. 

Some advice that Brooks would give to juniors who are starting their college application process soon is to do everything ahead of time and apply for scholarships. Based on his personal life, scholarships have been Brooks’ biggest struggle while applying to college. 

“Apply as soon as possible basically. Fill out your FAFSA and sign up for a lot of scholarships because that is what is killing me right now, the money aspect of everything. [Since] we experienced a house fire back in April, everything burned down, literally everything and we had to rebuild everything. You have to continue… if you don’t continue to work, and you don’t want it, you won’t go anywhere in life, that’s just like the fundamentals,”  Brooks said. 

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