For most juniors and seniors, the idea of talking about college for an hour is a nightmare. However, the “College Conversation” panel held by college counselor Diane Bourn and PHS alumni proved to evaporate all preconceived notions.
The panel was held Wednesday, Nov. 27, in the Community Room, and Bourn brought together an impressive group of 18 PHS alumni to share their personal college experiences.
The discussion began with the alumni briefly speaking about the college or university they’re attending, as well as the factors that helped them choose their particular school. The graduates covered aspects of campus life, financial aid and differing programs.
The panelists then proceeded to speak more in-depth on the process of transitioning from high school life to a college mindset.
Vanderbilt freshman Maggie Devereux states that although college life can appear intimidating, students should not be discouraged.
“You have to be patient and realize you’re meeting a lot of people,” Devereux said.
However, University of Illinois (U of I) freshman Emilie McAndle suggests students focus on preparing for college at a relaxed pace over the summer as opposed to procrastinating.
“Give yourself some time over the summer because you’re packing life up,” McAndle said.
U of I freshman Sara Helwink also agrees transitioning into an organized mindset is key.
“You really have to organize your life and eventually you’ll really be thanking yourself for not leaving things until the last minute,” Helwink said.
Several of the panelists also agreed upon the importance of balancing a social life with an academic career.
St. Olaf University freshman Kelsey Henquinet strongly believes prioritizing classes over parties is key.
“You have to prove that you’re an asset to college and get as much out of college as you can” Herquint said. “Whatever you put into college will be the same that you get out of it.”
The panel also discussed the major differences in assignments in college compared to high school.
“They expect a lot more out of you [in college], but you kind of rise to meet the challenge,” Purdue University freshman David Dantillo said.
Likewise, University of Chicago freshman Walker Brewer believes the challenge in college workloads lies in the effort.
“It’s not the page count, it’s how much work you have to put into it,” Brewer said.
The panel finished their discussion by briefly offering advice to curious audience members. Although several answers covered differing aspects of college life, most of the closing remarks agreed upon enjoying the college experience.
“Pick [a major] that you love because you’ll get invested in it, and go into college with awareness,” Truman State University freshman Juila Wolfe said. “You want to know who you are, but also be open about it.”