On the second day back to school after Christmas break, seniors and juniors were in for a special surprise lunch advice session.
Six recent alumnae returned to the their Bayshore home on Friday, January 4, to discuss their personal experiences applying to college and attending college. Christine Costello, Gabby Perez, Katie Brown, Marianna Sotomayor, Ariel Farmer, and Ali Daigle discussed the college process and their individual college journeys with the juniors and seniors in the Brady Center North.
Duke University student Christine Costello A’11 had a tough experience with the college application process. She admitted she felt so frustrated when she was wait listed at a university that she immediately removed herself from the list. Costello advised against this harsh reaction because most people actually are admitted if they are patient enough to wait. Christine warned the audience that a real shock for her was realizing that she had to be on her own and to be her own boss. This awareness experience allowed her to understand her own wants, needs and goals.. She advised students to learn to challenge themselves along this journey of discovery.
Gabby Perez A’10 attends the University of Central Florida, one of the largest universities in the country. Perez loves the school and believes it is the perfect fit for her. She advised the girls to attend a summer session if enrolling in a large university to get a feel for the campus, start meeting new people, and start getting involved involved in clubs and organizations to make the school feel smaller.
Stonehill College student Katie Brown A’10 advised the girls not only to get involved in the school, but remember to consider their demanding schedules of classes. She is glad she committed to some clubs, but recommends joining only a few to maintain your sanity.
Marianna Sotomayor A’11, a student of George Washington University, loves her school and the surrounding DC area. She believes that big cities provide great opportunities, especially for her intended profession. Sotomayor advised the girls to remember that focusing on academics is extremely important, even though it is very tempting to put your social life first. She claimed that it is a reality shock and a much different atmosphere, but to take advantage of all the opportunities and to get involved as much as possible.
Ariel Farmer A’09 attends Florida State University as a transfer student. She explained that the college experience is all about the journey because your experience could be completely different from what you imagined. She advised the girls not to pick a college based solely on your intended major because you could realize that it is not what you expected. If you attend a small school that focuses on your previous major, you might not have as many advantages as a bigger school with more options for studying your new major. It is also important to consider the weather because the cold can be very gray and dull, a factor that some people may not think about in their college selections.
Ali Daigle A’10 attends the University of South Florida-St. Petersburg. She warned that everyone’s experience will differ. Even though her journey is not at all what she expected, she knows that it put her on the right track for a life that allows her to both take care of her horse and give her the ideal college experience she hoped for.
Junior Sarah Elliot loved hearing from the experiences of the visiting alumnae. She now feels more relaxed and knowledgable about the application process she will face next year. “I am so happy the graduates came back to share their experiences and to give us advise. It was great to hear how Academy helped them be happy and successful in college. I really enjoyed hearing about a life outside of Academy, which made the future seem much more real.”
The speakers all advised to to take advantage of Academy’s experienced and qualified college counselors and the benefits of an Academy education. Their message was that they feel very grateful for the preparation they have received from Academy in being successful in college and in accomplishing their dreams.