Being a senior is hard; there are many mixed messages. Society asks that young adults make the most important decision of their lives while they still have to ask for a pass to go to the bathroom. To help make this transition easier, Hopatcong High School graduates of the class of 2014 were invited back to educate the upcoming graduating class on college life at the third annual Return of the Graduates Assembly.
Coming from a handful of different universities and colleges, the graduates ranged from Rutgers University to the County College of Morris. The students—Jesse Farrell, Max Cafaro, Adam Kiely, Sara Elgazzar, Bianca Petrosino, Hailey Krueger, and Janine Munoz—lined the stage in preparation for the students questions; the assembly was moderated by the National Honors Society officers. These moderators asked a myriad of questions to the graduates about college life and how things have changed for them.
This year as a special guest, class of 2012 graduate Cliff Lundin, attended to share his experiences in his third year of college, as well as his involvement as a study abroad student. While a student at New College of Florida, Lunden participated in the study abroad program at Trinity College in Oxford, England. Lunden pointed out that time management and being involved in college campus life are keys to success. Additionally he advised that if students are interested in a Study Abroad program, they should meet with their advisors early on as the application process can be tedious.
General questions to alumni students covered a large spectrum. In regards to applying for colleges and scholarships, Kiely recommended that “With the resources here at Hopatcong, you owe it to yourself to apply to as many scholarships as possible.” Continuing on the subject, Max Cafaro added, “Even if you’re not the best student out there, you can still get a scholarship.”
HHS Alumni also touched upon the topic of whether or not college students go home often or if they prefer the freedom given to them. Many of the alumni had the opinion that it was better to stay at the college. “When you come home all of the time, you’re not really applying yourself at college or meeting some of the people you could meet,” Kiely stated. “If you go to a bigger school, you owe it to yourself to stay.”
Many students also dread larger lecture halls in vast universities, but when hit with the matter Farrell responded, “In a big lecture hall…it’s up to you to pay attention… why scroll through Instagram when you can do that later?”
The most important aspect that these former students wanted to get across was the idea of money management and time management. They stressed that while you have free time, you need to make sure you do your work.
College is going to be the best time of your life if you do it right. Several students felt much more confident about their choices after this presentation.