Appalachian CAC Student Story

Appalachian CAC Student Story

Student Perspective: Abby O’Dell

My college application process has been a little rocky depending on where you start. I believe the application process started when I was just talking about where I wanted to go. This was the unstable part for me. At the end of Junior year, I was pretty set on going to a small college, either North Carolina A & T or North Carolina Central. I thought that these two schools were not only two of the few schools where I would be granted acceptance but also some of the only ones I would be financially comfortable with. I was very hard on myself and I continued to think that a small school was the only option for me at this time. Later in early summer after Junior year I got the urge to believe in myself. I wanted to attend some of the top public universities in North Carolina. Although I wanted to get into these universities, my mindset was always wherever I get in, I will be very thankful.

As the beginning of Senior year approached, I found that this college application process was a lot more overwhelming than I had thought. I realized that the process was equivalent to a whole other class and I barely knew where to start. I had heard about Common App from classmates and recently graduated friends. I started making an account and adding information that I knew. After that, it is safe to say that I was lost. This is around the time where the great Ms. Phoebe Thompson, my school’s newly hired college adviser, came into play in my college application process. Little did I know that she would be one of the most helpful people in public education that I have ever been advised by. She guided me through every step I needed help on. Ms. Thompson was a major help when advising me on everything from my personal essay to accessing my financial aid package.

After receiving all of this help from Ms. Thompson, I soon got into all the schools I applied to. My ultimate decision is to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall. After receiving a scholarship that guarantees a debt free graduation, this choice was simple. And I am beyond thankful for not only the scholarship, but everything and everyone that got me here. My goals for the future have changed since the beginning of my application process. My goals now consist of majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in psychology. After my undergraduate degree, I plan to get a doctorate in neuropsychology. After this the goal is to work as a clinical Neuropsychologist.

Adviser Perspective: Phoebe Thompson 

Walking with Abby along her path to college this year has truly been an honor for me. She has been incredibly self-motivated and has always stayed on top of deadlines, but has also known when to ask for help, and has been a great communicator all year despite doing much of her learning remotely. This year, she has juggled coursework between Andrews High School and Tri-County Community College, as well as intensive college and scholarship applications and a part-time job. All of the schools she applied to required multiple supplemental essays, which I helped her refine and edit. It was through this writing that I really got to know Abby on a deeper level, learning about her experience growing up in rural, western North Carolina and how that has shaped her aspirations for the future. She is someone who I know will burst into full bloom surrounded by like-minded individuals in a college environment, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is so lucky to have her.


Published: May 21, 2021 10:35am

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