The Rocket Flame

A Journey to College


Dickinson College

Deciding where to attend college can be a stressful decision to make. There are many factors you have to take into consideration when choosing the school that is best fit for you. For instance “Do I want to go to a small school or large school?” or “Do I want to attend a school located in an urban or rural area?”


On April 24, 11 juniors went on a college visit to Millersville University and Dickinson College. On their visit, they attended an informational session and got to tour the campus. This visit allowed students to maybe get an idea about the kind of school they want to attend and what to expect next time they go on a college visit.


“College visits are important to allow students to see the different opportunities offered,” said Ms. Amy Violante (Faculty). “It’s important to experience the culture and what the college or university is all about.”


The first stop was Millersville University. Millersville is a four-year public state university. They have about 7,000 undergraduate students and some of their academic programs include: Education, Meteorology, Engineering, Safety and Technology, and others.

“I liked the larger school because it will give me more of an opportunity to figure out what I want to do,” said Sebastian Wise (11). “I think that having a bigger school will open more doors.”


After Millersville, the next stop was Dickinson College. Located in Carlisle, PA. Dickinson is a four-year private liberal arts college. They have about 2,400 undergraduate students and some of their academic programs include: Biochemistry, Business, Dance, Pre-law, Sustainability, and others.


“One thing I liked about Dickison was that since it’s a smaller school, it allows more one on one interaction with professors,” said Zach Slodysko (11).


Deciding on a College or University to attend can be difficult, but visiting different schools allows you to explore your many options. Below are 10 tips to help ensure a successful college visit.


10 Helpful Tips to College Visits



  • Research the college before you visit



  • Take the student-led tour of campus



  • Look into life beyond academics



  • Eat in the dining hall



  • Check out the dorms



  • Examine classrooms and lecture halls



  • Visit the admissions office



  • Take notes



  • Have an idea about what you like in a school



  • Ask lots of questions



Are You College-Ready?

It’s crunch time for the Class of 2019. Many seniors are in the midst of completing college applications toward their next step in education for the start of 2019-2020 school year. To lend a helping hand, James Buchanan’s College Ambassadors have organized workshops to help with any unanswered questions that students might have.


The first two workshops focused on the important topics of the FAFSA and The Common Application, which can both be crucial steps when applying to colleges.


“The college application process can be quite overwhelming,” said College Ambassador, Harley Rife (12). “These workshops don’t just provide answers to specific questions, but they also allow seniors to see how they can make the process less overwhelming.”


Ambassadors were split up into four groups to collect information and study up on various topics that they then would present to college-bound members of the student body.


“My group’s topic was on writing admissions essays, and I have learned a lot about what to write about and what colleges are looking for,” says Rife.


The student-to-student perspective is a change from just the average meetings with your assigned guidance counselor. This experience gives students a chance to interact with other classmates who can relate since they are going through the same process.


“Sometimes with the counselors, students feel like they have to ask questions, or that they have to take extra time from their school day to ask one simple question,” said Rife, ”So students are encouraged to ask College Ambassadors and other students their questions.”


The counselors, Mrs. Brenda Ford (Faculty), Mrs. Lynn Troutman (Faculty) and College Advisor Ms. Amy Violante (Faculty) help guide the ambassadors in the right direction to help other students.


“The support of Mrs. Troutman and Ms. Violante really motivated me,” said Rife. “So now we’re trying to spread the motivation.”


The final workshop will take place in Room 101 on Nov. 2 and will discuss interview and acceptance processes.


“I hope students gain knowledge of the topics, but, more importantly, encouragement,” says Rife. “Encouragement to do their best and try their best on all of their essays and applications.”


As time starts winding down to the beginning of the 2019 school year, the numerous applications and SAT’s will show their significance in the college application process.


“Everyone is capable,” says Rife. “It’s just a matter of putting in the time and getting the ball rolling.”

Advice for College Freshmen From Alumnae


In the library lobby of James Buchanan High School, a banner hangs where students and faculty can write advice and inspiring words for seniors that are graduating.

It is the middle of the summer, and you are roaming through the aisles of stores trying to shop for your dorm. There are so many things in so many colors, and you do not know where to start. You’re asking yourself questions like:

“Do I need a duster?”

“Should I get a planner to plan out my week?”

“Should I buy this value pack of Ramen so I can save up money?”


These are all questions that have been asked many times before, and they will continue to be asked many times in the future, but the advice from a few alumni who asked the same questions should set you in the right direction.


James Buchanan Alumni Class of 2017, Veronica Harmon, Lebanon Valley College, and Kayla McKenzie, Millersville University, wanted to share some advice that they wish they had when they were going into college as freshmen.


First of all, moving into college can be a hassle, so take necessary precautions to avoid any unnecessary struggles.


“Having all your stuff organized before going there is very handy,” said Harmon. “Having your clothes together, having your toiletries together, and so forth, is very helpful, so you are not looking for random stuff that could be in any box.”


To maintain a tidy dorm room, work with your roommate to keep your dorm room clean.


“I am a very clean person, so I have everything clean always, but my roommate was quite different than that.” Harmon said.  “Understanding whose responsibility is whose [is important], like I took out the garbage when she took out the recycling.”


Scheduling can become a lifesaver when it comes to staying on track.


“Have a set day on when you like to do things [helps]. I would always do laundry on Tuesdays because it wasn’t busy,” said Harmon. “Having a schedule will help you figure out when to do things at the best time like you can’t vacuum if you have a carpet during quiet hours.”


When it comes to saving money, the best advice is to actually save it up.


“Put money in your savings account and don’t touch it unless it’s in an emergency and, no, wanting fast food isn’t an emergency,” said McKenzie. “You have a meal plan for a reason, but treating yourself once a week won’t kill you either.”


If the situation occurs when you are not doing the best in your classes, you have resources around you to help.


“Teach yourself if you have to, get a tutor, or work with the people in your class,” said McKenzie. “You only have to deal with this professor for one semester.”


A tip for a successful college academic career is to stay on task with your work.


“When you are working on your work, you have to focus on that and not have any distractions because you have to stay ahead,” said Harmon.


To destress after an immense workload, you can do activities around campus.


“Colleges usually have a crazy amount of clubs and extracurriculars,” said McKenzie. “I suggest getting involved in at least one every semester. Find something you love and join that club.”


These two college sophomores are only two opinions. There are plenty of other additional articles and lists that could help you prepare for your future in college. Not only that, but you could also ask more people you know attending college for their advice. Also, don’t forget if you have any questions that you can’t find answers to online, contact your college to ask.

Navigate Left
  • A Monty-mental Performance


    A Monty-mental Performance

  • A Gentleman


    A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder Trailer Video

  • Acknowledging Drugs and Vaping


    Acknowledging Drugs and Vaping

  • Bucket Brigade

    On Campus

    Bucket Brigade

  • Helping Hands at JB

    On Campus

    Helping Hands at JB

  • A Recital To Remember


    A Recital To Remember

  • Benches for the Community

    Off Campus

    Benches for the Community

  • FLO Interviews


    FLO Interviews

  • Back Row: Owen Cooper (11), Addy Crouse (11), Alliah Fluent (11), Meredith Iverson (11), Kace Dorty (11), Colby Starr (11), Macen Wilt (11), Carlee Jackson (12), Tanner Myers (12), Aleesha Cramer (11), Jaide Wolfe (11), and Hailey Embree (11). Front Row: Kaitlyn Ebersole (12), Cameron Flemming (11), Bella Shupp (11), Brynn Taulton (11), Kyla Shoemaker (11), Ashley Dukehart (11), Morgan Shughart (11), Emily Horst (11), Alyssa Sensinger (11), Maddie Akers (11), and Kierra Griffith (11).


    Lighting a Path for New NHS Members

  • Awards for the Keystone Kids

    Off Campus

    Awards for the Keystone Kids

Navigate Right
Activate Search
The Student News Site of James Buchanan High School