Senior Victoria Olaleye’s Take On Senior Year and Advice To Incoming Seniors


Photo provided by Victoria Olaleye

Senior Vicky Olaleye smiles for a picture after a successful 20-21 Speech season.

Journalism 1, Reporter

By Valentino Okafor

For most of us, any step taken towards massive life is difficult and stressful. Be it moving to somewhere new or high school graduation, it’s not always easy. But for H-F senior Victoria Olaleye, graduating from high school wasn’t all that difficult. 

This school year is almost over and our favorite seniors will be leaving us for college. Although their senior year didn’t go as planned, this is an opportunity for Olaleye to discuss her experience at H-F and give future seniors and freshman insights and advice on how to be a successful student and graduate stress-free.

I interviewed Olaleye to discuss her senior year experience as well as get her perspective on how her senior year went with the pandemic going on. 

You’re about to take a huge step into a whole new adventure in your life. How do you feel about the whole college application process? It’s been so stressful just because if we were in person we would have a lot more support. We’ve been doing everything on our own but it hasn’t been going that bad though. We’ve had a lot of direction especially with our college application- which has been super stressful and on top of that we’re doing school but I got into the places that I wanted to go to. And now it’s a matter of picking where from my top choices that I got into it but after that everything will finally be over.

Have you decided on a major? And How did you know it’s what you wanted to do? I decided I was going to major in journalism to be a broadcaster, which is funny because that is what you’re interviewing me for. 

That’s awesome! Have you thought about applying for any scholarships? Yeah, so for school, we were encouraged to all fill out our FAFSA. It was not required, but it was a great idea to do it. And I’ve been applying for little scholarships which are way difficult than I thought they would be. I’m still finding scholarships and I would probably keep applying even when I’m in college but it’s been a great experience.

What would you say your biggest accomplishment at Homewood-Flossmoor is? Honestly, my biggest accomplishment was last year for speech. I wrote an Informative speech on embryo fertilization which is basically like test-tube babies. Babies that were made in a petri dish and It was super science-y. It was personal for me and I ended up going to State with it. I didn’t expect myself to even make State because I was only a junior and I thought I was still learning. That was the speech moment that I have always thought of and it came through. 

Based on your college application experience, what advice would you give upcoming seniors on what they should expect or do to be prepared? I would say start early which is the same advice I got from seniors that already graduated. They told me to start early and I listened to them and it helped so much. As soon as the Common App opens in the summer, start looking for scholarships early. It’s not too much but it will pile on once school starts. Over the summer, you have more freedom and time as you want to get it done. If you start it soon, then it won’t be as stressful when you’re in the middle of school. That way it gives you more time to look for scholarships and decide on where you want to go. Never procrastinate!

If you had an opportunity to go back in time, what would you change about your high school experience? I would have cracked down on myself freshman year. I kinda fell into this hole and didn’t realize how important your freshman year was when it came to building a strong foundation. I didn’t do well my freshman year. If you can start off with a solid foundation as a freshman then do that! Don be lazy and do what you need to do. It matters in the end. [This way] you don’t have to worry about building your GPA through high school.

I know senior year was not exactly how you pictured it going because of Covid, but how was it different from your expectations? It’s bittersweet.  It’s nice to be moving on to a different era of your life but at the same time, it does suck because ever since we were little, we’ve always pictured how our prom would be and how our high school graduation would be. We had all of these ideas in our head and it kind of just came crashing down and it sucks.  There are days where I’m just like, ¨Dang, I wish I got to do all of these things. I wish I got my last school dancing or football games.¨ We kind of just have to keep moving, but at the end of the day, you just realize that some things just don’t turn out the way we want them to.

You’ve accomplished so much! How do your parents play a role in these accomplishments? I’m lucky enough I have super supportive parents. They support me through anything that I do and honestly it’s because of them that I think I do well speech. I’ve always had them as a backbone, there are times where I cried to my mom about speech.  Where I was just like, ¨it’s just too stressful, I want to quit! I want to quit! I want to quit!¨ My mom is going to definitely my stronghold. She keeps me together and she’s super proud of me, but I’m super proud of her because she’s the reason why I think I do so well. My twin brother is also supportive and he’s my best friend.