Schools and Libraries
January 10, 2013
In an annual tradition, a group of 15 graduates of the Long Beach High School Class of 2012 returned to their alma mater to share advice with this year’s juniors and seniors about how to best prepare for college life, touching on everything from academics to dorm life.
Even though their experiences with roommates, class sizes and dining hall food varied considerably, most students agreed that academics are more rigorous at college. The alumni urged the younger students to take advantage of the International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, SUPA and other college-level courses offered at the high school to help them prepare for the academic demands of college.
Many agreed that the first semester of college was challenging, but when they employed the organizational and study skills they learned in high school and planned their class schedules well, they were able to get their coursework done and still have time to get involved in sports, clubs and campus social life. They said that getting involved in activities outside of the classroom actually helped them make friends and better acclimate to college life.
“The workload at college is much different,” admitted David Henry. “I pretty much coasted through high school, but when I got to Monroe I had to apply myself to keep up with my studies. The extra effort paid off. I made the Dean’s List my first semester.”
The alumni advised seniors to keep an open mind during the college selection process.
“New Paltz was not my first choice, but it ended up being a great school for me,” admitted Rebecca Spodick. “As you go through the process of choosing, don’t get stuck on one school.”
“Don’t pigeonhole yourself,” agreed Eileen Kelly. “Villanova was not even on my radar when I first started applying to schools, but I really love it there now.”
“Consider costs very carefully,” added Alexa Salazar, who is attending one of the state-subsidized colleges of Cornell University. “Don’t dismiss public colleges. The money you save on public school tuition can be applied to your graduate studies.”