“When the bell sounded, I just totally flipped,” said senior Yesenia Rosales. “I just started running around. I was like, ‘Who is it?! Which one of you is it?! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!’ And I was just screaming and really excited.”
Rosales’ reaction was very similar to that of many seniors Monday morning, September 14. Ann Richards has a tradition of announcing college acceptances over the intercom, preluded by a signature horn-blowing sound.
When the bell came over the speakers, Mr. Heineman announced that Ashley Thomas was the first senior from the class of 2016 to be accepted into college. Texas State University notified her of her acceptance on Saturday.
“At first I thought it was the soccer coach e-mailing me,” Thomas said. “But then it said I got in, and I was really excited, because– Texas State– my brother’s been there, most of my friends are going there, so it was definitely the school I wanted to go to.”
Texas State is Thomas’ top choice school. Her plan is to attend Texas State and be roommates with her friend Hannah Starkel, also a senior at Ann Richards. Starkel was the first person to hear the news.
“I was really excited for her,” Starkel said. “That’s both of our number-one schools, and so I started screaming.”
The same hysteria that struck Starkel hit the class of 2016 upon receiving word of Thomas’ accomplishment.
“When they said Ashley’s name, I started crying,” Rosales said. “I started crying tears of joy and maybe one-fifth of sadness. Then Sarah [Bustos] sees my crying, and she starts crying. Esmeralda [Juarez] is crying. Maria Jaramillo and I are hugging each other. It was just an emotional moment.”
Arianna Maldonado, a senior, was in a different class than Rosales Monday morning. The announcement had a stirring effect in her room as well.
“Everybody was jumping and screaming,” Maldonado said. “Like oh my gosh, doing spirit fingers to their face.”
After the initial shock, a different emotion settled into the students.
“Something hit me, like a realization I guess, of like growing up, because we’ve all grown up together since we were in middle school and then to know one of us got accepted into college already, it just hits you that, you know, it’s a reality now– everything we’ve been preparing for is hitting hard and quick and fast,” Maldonado said. “After that, I felt like, dang I need to get my stuff together… I went to work that night thinking about the next step I need to do to be in Ashley’s spot,” she said, “because she got in her number one choice.”
Thomas’ acceptance has set the tone for the class of 2016 seniors.
“Like for a race, when you’re in the line and you hear the gunshot– she’s the first runner to sprint and then we’re all going to follow her,” Rosales said.