Walking into the cafeteria on Friday, it seemed as if the seniors were completing an arts and crafts project. Numerous cards decorated with glitter, stickers and senior portraits were taped to a banner in the Student Government Association (SGA) activities room. But rather than just showing off their creativity, the Class of 2019 was celebrating the fruits of their hard work at CCHS and the beginning of the next chapter of their lives.
A tradition at CCHS, Academic Signing Day is when members of the graduating senior class officially announce where they will be attending college. Seniors often commemorate the occasion by wearing their future college’s gear and decorating cards with their picture and the college’s logo and colors.
The cards serve not only as a personal reminder of one’s accomplishments, but as a time capsule of an entire grade’s academic achievements. Academic Signing Day cards are eventually posted in the Broward Advisors for Continuing Education (BRACE) room, where current CCHS students can see the successes of alumni who were once in their shoes.
After gazing up at those cards for four years, the Class of 2019 now knows where they will be spending the next four years of their lives. For many seniors, committing to a college feels like the beginning of a new chapter marked by independence and opportunity.
“All my hard work finally feels like it’s paying off.”
“When I got my acceptance letter and decided to attend Florida International University, I felt like for once I wasn’t [scrambling] to get my life together,” senior Alexandra Porras said. “I felt like I finally had a plan that I got to choose for myself and felt really confident in. It makes me feel really excited for the next four years [and] to keep making decisions like that for myself.”
Academic Signing Day also serves as an opportunity for students to reflect on their rewarding efforts throughout high school. For senior Alina Pereyra, who will be attending Cornell University, her four years of rigorous academics and impressive extracurricular commitments at CCHS earned her acceptance into the highly prestigious university located in Ithaca, New York.
“All my hard work finally feels like it’s paying off and everything is going in the direction that I always imagined it [to],” Pereyra said.
As the Class of 2019 commits to college, CCHS faculty and underclassmen must prepare to bid their goodbyes to the seniors. Though the end of a school year is always bittersweet, senior events like Academic Signing Day let students know that all of the days and nights filled with studying, school sports or club events are worth it.
“I think Academic Signing Day is a great day to celebrate our students,” BRACE Adviser Christine Siwek said. “They’ve been here for four years working towards getting into college and being able to plan their college future … I always call [Academic Signing Day] the ‘bow at the end.’”
Photo by Cassie Hartmann