By Isabelle Morrison
Christina and Catherina Ed are two incoming college freshmen who are bound for success, and seeing as a new school year is right around the corner, they’re here to share their high school (primarily senior year) experience and advice.
The Ed sisters graduated from Timberline High School with valedictorian status in June 2015, and will be attending Gonzaga University (Christina) and the University of Washington (Catherina) this fall.
The girls have also collected a plethora of scholarships; both sisters received the Fort Lewis Family Member scholarship, scholarships from the Olympia Tumwater Foundation, and scholarships from the North Thurston Education Foundation. In addition, Christina received the Gonzaga University Merit Grant, and GU Regents scholarship.
Catherina acknowledges that these accomplishments weren’t just handed to them. “I think being in sports all four years and being involved in orchestra and clubs like the National Honors Society is what helped.”
Obviously their consistently flawless GPA’s played a role as well. Having the motivation to maintain a 4.0 throughout all of high school is very difficult. “I knew the end goal was valedictorian status. During my first year, I just did my work and got all A’s. But, when i reached the 3-year mark, I realized that if I lost my 4.0 now it would be so disappointing. I thought I might as well keep pushing,” shares Christina.
Although school involvement and grade point averages are two big factors when applying for colleges and scholarships, Catherina agrees that the quality and timing of your application submissions are of equal importance. “I got every single one of my college essays edited by my teachers,” says Catherina. “I think I stressed myself out too much,” she adds. “As long as you do everything early and not wait until the last minute, you’ll be fine”.
When it came to actually choosing a college, distance away from home and smaller class sizes are what influenced Christina’s decision to attend Gonzaga. She also wanted to go to a different school than her sister. “We decided that this was a good time to split up,” she explains. “It was a better time to do it now than after another four years.”
Catherina had some crucial advice about college visits and choosing which schools to apply for. “I think high schoolers should visit the campuses before applying. I applied to all of these schools and when I visited them I ended up not even wanting to go there. It was a waste of time and stress – and a big waste of money.”
Leaving your home and family behind for college is already a challenge, but imagine having to separate from someone who you share everything with and has always been by your side? “I think at first I’m going to have a lot more anxiety,” describes Christina about leaving her twin sister. “When I meet new people I can be shy, but I usually have Catherina to help me add on to conversations. It’s going to be difficult not having someone I’m so comfortable and familiar with, but it’s good because I need to get out of my comfort zone.”
Though they’re going to miss each other, the Ed sisters are both excited to gain independence, meet new people, and try new things in the fall. Catherina is especially looking forward to UW lecture halls, and Christina, the flexibility of a college class schedule.
Both sisters are planning to study in the pre-medicine track.