//PICTURED ABOVE: Senior Parker Waters outside the Admissions Wall wearing her Pepperdine t-shirt.
As the long-awaited day of white dresses and floral sun hats approaches, Hockaday seniors prepare for the next chapter of their lives: college. But some are choosing an alternative path, deciding to wait until spring to begin college and participating in various things in their upcoming fall semester.
Senior Parker Waters will be enrolling in Pepperdine University in the spring of 2020.
“I didn’t really decide to [start in the spring], but I’ve been wanting to go to Pepperdine for two years now,” Waters said, “the more I thought about the possibility of being able to go to my dream school, the more I thought I would totally do it.”
Waters plans to be taking classes at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) during her fall semester. She intends to take the typical first-year classes she would be taking at Pepperdine.
“I’m excited because I’ll be able to do college before I actually have to move away. I can get the gist of it before I go off and have to live somewhere completely different,” Waters said.
She also appreciates being able to stay home for a bit longer to spend time with her mom. In addition to the perks of her fall semester at UTD, Waters is looking forward to attending Pepperdine in the spring.
“I’m excited because when I go in the spring, there will be around 75 other people that are starting in the spring,” Waters said, “so that’ll be exciting to get to know that small group of people.”
Although Waters is a bit nervous about starting her second semester, she believes that the welcoming environment at Pepperdine will help her adjust.
“My mom said that she’d be worried if I went anywhere else in the spring to make friends, but she knew that at Pepperdine, everyone’s so friendly and I’ll be alright,” Waters said.
On the other hand, Julia Tribolet’18 participated in the University of Southern California’s spring admit program by studying abroad in Paris, where she attended the American University of Paris.
“USC was my dream school and I knew I wanted to go no matter what,” Tribolet said, “I definitely wanted to go abroad as part of my college experience, so it was a natural fit for me.”
Similarly, senior Ali Herbert will also be attending a program for USC, but spending a year abroad at the American University of Paris rather than a semester.
“I decided to do this program because I’ve always known that I belong at USC,” Herbert said, “I’ve also known that I wanted to study abroad, so I’m very grateful that this program allows me to do that.”
During her fall semester, Tribolet enjoyed traveling throughout Europe, visiting Munich, London, Rome, Florence, and Interlaken. She even had the opportunity to go skydiving in Switzerland.
“When I wasn’t traveling, I took advantage of living in Paris. I took cooking classes, attended fashion week, learned how to make macarons and took a wonderful art history class that toured a different museum each walk as part of our curriculum,” Tribolet said, “it was a wonderful opportunity to be immersed in Paris.”
In Paris, Tribolet lived in an apartment that was a 30-minute walk from her school. She had no meal plan or quick access to health care when she got sick. Although she was challenged by navigating foreign stores, maintaining her apartment, cooking and caring for herself, Tribolet felt that the experience made her much more independent.
“I feel like there is very little that I wouldn’t be able to handle on my own,” Tribolet said.
While Tribolet struggled with starting over at USC, her friends from Paris and meeting other spring admits facilitated her transition.
“I know starting in the spring seems really unconventional but it was the best thing that could’ve happened to me,” Tribolet said, “I would relive my first semester all over again if I had the chance.”
Story and Photo by Kelsey Chen