Entering the Unknown

Photo credit to: https://si0.twimg.com/profile_images/2409332257/UCCS-Twitter-Icon-550-alt2.jpg

Photo credit to: https://si0.twimg.com/profile_images/2409332257/UCCS-Twitter-Icon-550-alt2.jpg

Micaela Davidson, Section Editor

High School. Something we all have to go through, and most everyone does with the mind set of “I’m going to go to college after this”. Yes, despite how emotionally, mentally, and physically draining school can be, people still decide to go for two or more years of it. College can seem intimidating, overwhelming, and unfamiliar to those who have yet to go, and like some pretty amazing years to those who have.

Katherine Hambrick, Timmy Vilgiate, and Samantha Bodin are all 2012 Woodland Park High School graduates in their first year of college.

Samantha is attending University of Colorado in Colorado Springs (UCCS) and is currently majoring in Pre-Professional Nursing. She had this to say when asked if college was everything she thought it would be, “In terms of work, absolutely. In terms of the social aspect, not at all. I always had a certain unfounded fear that I would make no friends and life would be studying all the time, but it isn’t like that at all!”

Timmy is also attending UCCS and is double majoring in Music and History and explained that, “I expected it [college] to be everything I needed. I think it’s pretty much exactly that. I didn’t know what that meant, but the music program is very well suited to me.”

Attending the University of Missouri is Katherine, heading towards her major in Journalism, Political Science, and minoring in Spanish. “There was a lot I wasn’t prepared for. Like, finding a doctor by myself, or learning to pay my tuition on time, or how to balance my time, or just like, who to ask in my school for things.”

“Because of my AP courses I had some small idea of working at a break neck pace…but really, nothing could have prepared me except for listening to teachers when they said it was going to be so different and blah blah, which obviously none of us did. They’re right, by the way.” Samantha laughed.

Timmy also had positive things to say about Advanced Placement classes at the high school, “Taking AP classes allowed me to start out almost a full year ahead of schedule for graduation. I pretty much started college like right on the line between a sophomore and a freshman.”

When asked about how WPHS helped them prepare for college, Timmy and Samantha immediately talked about the AP classes. However, Katherine focused more on the teachers that had a large impact on her, “When I was at WP I would always talk to my teachers after hours and ask them for help and email them, so when I got to college I did the same thing. It seriously saved my grade in a few classes,” she admitted. “So, I guess I’d say that the teachers helped by being there and open.”

Katherine went on to talk about the different teachers that “spiked” her interest in her majors, such as Mr. Pappadakis, Mrs. Stone, Mr. Leonard, and Mr. Tracey.

All three college students had some great advice to offer to current High School students.

“Adjust yourself to the idea of really, really needing your text book. Get used to the fact that you will be reading them and taking notes in order to pass your courses, and there’s no way around it. And also, get ready to be smacked in the face with the need for time management skills; there’s a million things you could be doing at any given moment and it often sucks to choose to study for your exam, but you have to.” said Samantha, offering her hints and tips.

“I give better advice when I’m asked specific questions than I probably give for the general world of high schoolers at large…but taking AP classes are a very good idea.” Timmy paused and added, “Make sure you always have duct tape in your glove box. If you plan on commuting many miles to college, be sure you have enough things in your car to survive at the home of a friend you know will let you stay when it snows a bunch… Have friends with homes, ‘cause sometimes it snows. And follow whims… if they don’t seem like they’re morally improper.”

Katherine had over 400 words of wisdom, literally, but summed up all the advise that she felt was very helpful for a high school student. They consisted of: move away from Colorado, the rest of the world is not like the paradise Colorado we live in. Step outside of your box and hang out with people you are not used to, and finally, it’s okay to have no idea what you’re doing.

“Push yourself, and experience something else. Do your thing alone. It gets lonely, at times, but you become way more independent.” Katherine recommended.

Hopefully, for those who aspire to attend college, all of this information is quite encouraging. After hearing the opinions of these alumni, those people who choose to go for more years of school don’t seem as crazy. If other current college students concur with these three, perhaps it really is worth it.