From high school to college

SM alumni Nolan Bellow describes his transition from high school to college.

It is not difficult to find the college acceptance statistics for SM students. But college acceptance goes beyond statistics. Students are moving to a new place, moving away from home and from family and friends, and are living independently.

The SMCHS class of 2021 had 406 students, were awarded over 38 million dollars in scholarships, had 2,104 college acceptances, and a 100 percent acceptance rate at 200 schools. Some students even made the decision to attend university in another country, but the majority of 2021 graduates are attending out of state.

But it is SM’s wide selection of classes and extra-curricular activities that can boost a college application and even help decide what a student might want to study.

“I was a part of ETV 2.0 for all four years at SM, and in my sophomore year I realized I wanted to go into news media as a career,” said SM graduate and Belmont University freshman Nolan Bellow. “I am currently in Entrepreneurial Media and soon I will be taking an additional class for Mass Media and Society. I will also be working in the news department on campus, called Belmont Vision! All of which are similar courses and programs on a larger scale that I was able to experience at SM.”

Students at SM are provided with a college counselor in their junior year who will assist students in brainstorming colleges they might apply to, prepare a transcript, and prepare the student for the college application process.

“I know it can be scary to ask for help or you may feel like the only one, but here in college, teachers are the same as SM,” Bellow said. “I love how SM is and will continue to be a place where students can reach out if they’re struggling or just falling behind in regards to anything. Your teachers, faculty, and staff, are all there to help you.”

SM’s flexibility in being able to choose between academic, honors, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate classes also play a major factor in the transition to college life. These classes can simulate the rigor of college courses.

“I believe SM really did prepare me for my college experience,” Bellow said. “There are times now where I will be sitting in classes and our professors will refer to a specific topic or idea that I am able to recall from something I had actually learned in the classes that I had taken at SM.”

Bellow also has advice for current seniors who are applying to colleges and wants to remind them that there are many factors at play in the college admissions process. These range from clubs to being a leader to grades and GPA.

“Colleges want to know who you are as a person and what makes you different from other individuals. What ultimately makes you, you,” Bellow said.

SM grad Nolan Bellow holds his high school diploma.