EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the fourth monthly article on Stephanie Hill, a student at Berkeley High School.
As the first semester of her senior year comes to a close, the reality of the end of high school hasn't quite set in for Berkeley High School senior Stephanie Hill.
When the school recently held a pep rally for the basketball team, the last pep rally of Steffi's high school career, she was going to skip it in favor of a study session for a psychology test. Then her best friend, Kristen Cario, told her she couldn't miss that.
Kristen often points out "lasts," Steffi says. So Steffi went to the pep rally, and she's glad she did. "I'm sure it will hit me at some point that this is the end of high school," Steffi said. "But it hasn't yet."
Her mother, Margaret Hill, says the second semester will have more of a ring of finality.
That's when Steffi will finally hear from Clemson University, the only college to which she has applied and wants to go.
Although she finished her college application months ago and doesn't expect to hear anything until Feb. 15, some of her classmates are starting to receive letters of acceptance from Clemson and other schools.
"I know I have heard of two people getting letters from Clemson already," Steffi says.
At her mother's urging, she is still pondering one more stab at the SAT.
The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Program, which is run by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, offers scholarships of up to $6,700 to freshmen and $7,500 for the sophomore, junior and senior years for eligible participants.
Requirements are that the student rank in the top 6 percent of their class, have a 3.5 grade-point average, and score at least 1200 on the SAT.
Steffi is ranked 13th in her class of 220 and her grade-point average meets the require-ment but she hasn't met the SAT portion yet.
"I got a letter saying that I met two of the three requirements, but I just don't know if I want to take the SAT again," she said.
She believes she is a "bad test-taker."
Otherwise, she's just been enjoying her senior year.
She has been to several Clemson football games and had some friends over to watch the Clemson-Carolina game. She went to the midnight premiere of "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 1" with Kristen.
Despite a fever, she mustered up the strength to go Black Friday shopping late Thanksgiving night and the next day with her mother, sister Ashley and some friends who were visiting from out of town.
And, most important, Steffi has accomplished one longtime goal: She won the senior superlative "best smile," as voted on by her classmates.
It was a goal she has had since elementary school when she saw an episode of the Disney Channel TV show "Even Stevens," where character Ren Stevens wins the best smile contest at her school.
"I'm so happy because I really wanted to win that," she said.
Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713.