Hopkinton High School's Student News Site

HHS Press

Hopkinton High School's Student News Site

HHS Press

Hopkinton High School's Student News Site

HHS Press

Lillian Gallagher and Steph Johnson Showcase the College Decision Experience

Olivia Scalora
Steph Johnson cleans up the format for a college commitment. Johnson also spends her spare time designing graphics for varsity sports, especially girls basketball. Her creations can be found on the @HHSGVB Instagram page.

Seniors Lillian Gallagher and Steph Johnson turned college acceptance into a headline by creating Instagram posts and YouTube videos to recognize recently committed students. They aim to use the platforms to expand on individual college application experiences.

The girls run the class of 2024’s college decision Instagram page, found under the username @hopkinton.2024.decisions. They compile each participating student’s photo, school, and major into digital announcements.

A few featured students are pictured below.

“A post on Instagram takes less than a minute. I already have the format, so I just plug in the image and the school,” Johnson said.

Gallagher shows off recent posts on the Instagram page. She runs the DMs, creates captions, and publishes posts after Johnson finishes the graphics.

Gallagher shared what initially inspired her to run the page.

“Honestly, I’m a nosy person. I get to be the first to know. For instance, when my friend Lucas Coffman committed to UMiami, he asked ‘Can you post this? I’m not telling anyone until it’s on the Instagram page,’ which was so special,” Gallagher said.

Still, she is especially appreciative of how people respond.

“It’s super gratifying to produce something that allows for so much encouragement towards one another in the comments. I know I would want to be celebrated for this milestone. Here I get to help celebrate others,” Gallagher said.

They took it a step further, however, and developed a YouTube platform for digestible, in-depth interviews.

Their segment titled Seven Questions is found at HHS2024Decisions-mu5mf. The YouTube channel dives into what’s beyond the surface when people decide on a school.

The Instagram page features the students as well as helpful links to video interviews. The account has attracted increased interest with almost 800 followers as of April. Students, parents, and alumni follow for updates on the class of 2024.

The videos originated from the girls’ Introduction to Journalism class.

“Mr. Haas thought it would be a good idea to incorporate into class what we already adopted as a project, so we created a video element that could be publicized and used as credit for journalism,” Johnson said.

Their first interviews covered Ivy League commits, followed by a video on student-athletes. They plan on filming future Boston students next.

“I write the questions. We use two cameras to get some different angles,” Gallagher said.

Filming typically takes an hour, while editing takes an extra one to two hours. Johnson explained the complexity of the process.

“The majority of the people we interview provide so much information that we can only use a small portion of it,” Johnson said.

She estimates that they cut around 90% of what they record.

“For instance, Emily Skaff was incredibly articulate and gave so much detail, so I had to edit it a lot to make it flow,” Johnson said.

Although they are currently invested in videography and graphic design, the girls do not anticipate continuing long-term. Gallagher considered only casually pursuing social media during her own college experience.

“I don’t see this in our distant future, but I really, really enjoyed the social media management aspect. It’s such a positive thing in my eyes. I’m hoping that, in college, I can run more accounts. For example, a sports team,” Gallagher said.

Gallagher and Johnson expect to wrap up the project after three total videos. Below are the first three episodes.

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