Written by Amanda Garbinski |
Every year the guidance department holds a college panel with Morgan’s past year alumni. Before the college freshmen head back to school, they come back to visit Morgan to explain first hand what their own experiences of their first semester was like. The panel allows the seniors, and any other student who wants an insight into the college life.
On Tuesday, January 7th, the library held the 2014 college panel with alumni from a variety of colleges. The guests include Stephanie Carroll from ESCU, Austin Coco from the University of New England, Shelby Church and Kim Driscoll from SCSU, Lucas Edwards from Berklee College of Music, Michael Iavarone III from Rutgers, Jasmine Mealy from Philadelphia University, Alyssa Pascarella from Salve Regina University, Miranda Richards from Boston College, Sarah Thompson from Saint Joseph’s University, Emile Wilk from Scripps College, Lenny Paul from Regis, Ryan Driscoll from Central, and Spencer Gilbert from Hofstra. Even though Mrs. O’Brien posed most of the questions, there was a period when the floor was open to the audience and panel to talk more about the social life of school.
On the topic of the transition from home to college, many of the students had similar advice on making friends and meeting new people. Lenny Paul explained the worst part of college was eating alone, “it was lame, so you try to make friends by meeting people. You’re not imposing, so don’t be shy”. He also bought 6 large pizzas the first week of school and left his door open for others to come in and socialize. In the words of Austin Coco, “food and sleep are the main motivators of college students” and leaving a door open only helps to make new friends. Miranda Richards described her “countdown on when [she] was going to leave home, but when [she] arrived at school it took a good two weeks to get past the awkwardness [of meeting new friends]”. Miranda’s “cool” roommates also helped her build onto her friend group because even though they did not hangout a lot, she was always able to meet new people through her roommates. On the other hand, roommates may not be so friendly and helpful, like in Emile Wilke’s case. She explained how she “didn’t talk to her roommate, and it was super awkward” but she assured “it isn’t the end of the world if you don’t get along with your roommate”. Another perspective of college life is being a commuter, like Shelby Church. Even though she did not have to transition away from home, her difficulty of making friends was much harder than most people, but “it isn’t impossible”. The college students all agree making friends is a challenge because mostly everyone you meet is going to be new, but no matter what the circumstance, it is possible if you stay friendly and open.
On the subject of the workload in college, the answers ranged widely amongst all of the students. On one end of the scale, Alyssa Pascarella had a “workload a lot easier than what was expected”. She described “Syllabus Week” where professors hand out their class’s syllabus and as long as you budget your time around the assignments, “it won’t be so overwhelming”. Spencer Gilbert differentiated college class and high school class. “You spend, at most, 5 hours of class time a day with extra time outside of class to do homework on your own”. The mentality of leaving high school and thinking when you go home work is done is something students need to realize will change in college. You are expected to do much of the work at home, even though the class times are much shorter. Lucas Edwards described an extreme end of the scale, saying his school is nicknamed “Berklee Bootcamp and [he has] at least three hours of homework and even homework over the vacation” with mandatory extra circulars. “Work gets a little ridiculous,” but Lucas manages. Handling the college work and attending classes was a huge topic between all of the students. They all agreed attending class is most important in college, no matter how much you don’t want to leave bed. Miranda Richards explained how she calculated the price it was for each hour in class at Boston College, and it was around $200 an hour! Jasmine concluded,”[college] is what you want to do for the rest of your life, so take full advantage of it”.
The last topic of the panel was social life. Budgeting the priorities of school with socializing is a must for all college students, but it does not mean students will not have any time for partying and “experimenting”. Some of the advice the panel has is:
“I encourage you to experiment and have fun. Find upper classmen who have id’s and hold your hair when you need it. Party with friends you know”- Lenny Paul
“Welcome week…go out for sure because it is a good way to meet people off hand. There are frat parties, and it is honestly a good way to meet people. If you’re a girl, dont accept drinks. Don’t go upstairs alone. Be safe”- Spencer Gilbert
“Make sure you know where you’re going and what your consequences will be”- Miranda Richards
Below is a video of some highlights of the college panel:
Click on the link for more information in Emma Wentworth’s article from last years college panel!