2016 Alumni impart college troubles and triumphs

Class of 2016 alumni answer questions about where they are, what they’re doing, and how college life compares to life under the Dome.

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Photo Contributed by: Abby Welch

Abby Welch

Q: What college do you attend and what do you study?

A: I am attending Miami University and I haven’t picked a major quite yet.

Q: How has your college experience been different than high school?

A: College is a lot more independent than high school is. I’m sure everyone says that, but it’s because it’s true. You’re responsible for yourself. You don’t have parents there to remind you it’s time for school, to do your homework or to go to bed before 3 a.m. School itself is different too. In high school teachers were more present; they asked about homework you didn’t turn in, talked to you about bad grades. In college, the professors let you pass or fail on your own. They’re there for you but only if you seek out their help. Adjusting to living with someone is different. I thought it would be a lot harder than it ended up being. I know it wasn’t as easy for everyone else, but I got really lucky. Also, dining plans are really annoying.

Q: Did Oakwood prepare you for college? Is so, how?

A: Yeah, I think it did. I remember before my first exam I was freaking out thinking it’d be really hard but it was no different than any of my high school tests. The course work is a lot of the same levels too.

Q: What is your favorite part about college?

A: I love the independence. I can see my friends whenever, stay at the library until two in the morning or go get french fries at 11 at night because my roommate and I decided to. I’m learning from the independence too, like how getting french fries at 11 adds to the “freshman fifteen”, or studying the night before the test isn’t always the right choice. Also, I’ve learned to always check my email before classes because guaranteed if I don’t check, the class will be cancelled.

 

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Photo Contributed by: Emma Kate Sowder

Emma Kate Sowder

Q: What college do you attend and what do you study?

A: I’m currently attending The Ohio State University and I’m majoring in Human Resources with a minor in Nonprofit Management.

Q: How has your college experience been different than high school?

A: College is extremely different from high school. Especially going to a large university where 60,000 other undergrads also attend, contact with teachers is much less common than at Oakwood. Some of my classes had 650 students, some had 30. Every class is very different. Also, being on your own is very different from high school. You have to do your own laundry, dishes, manage time, and do everything without guidance from your parents for the most part. I personally love being independent but others really struggle with that adjustment.

Q: Did Oakwood prepare you for college? Is so, how?

A: Oakwood definitely prepared me for college life in terms of school. [Advanced Placement] (AP) classes at Oakwood are a similar workload to most college classes. There were many things I had to do last semester I learned in my AP classes like rhetorical analysis or an annotated bibliography. Most professors don’t guide you at all and just expect you to know how to write a paper with a well organized thesis or expect you to understand how to do complex calculus with little guidance. I did feel like most of my AP classes prepared me for that. The Non AP classes I took didn’t prepare me as much for college level classes, but I still felt for the most part ready for my classes. Though the workload is still a little more overwhelming than high school homework.

Q: What is your favorite part about college?

A: My favorite part about college is living with my awesome roommate and the people on my floor. I love my dorm and the people I’ve met through living here have become lifelong friends that I couldn’t imagine life without now that I’m here. Also, hand in hand with dorm life is the independence that comes with college and being on my own. I love being able to do my own thing and explore the university I love.

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Photo Contributed by: Brian Stephenson

Brian Stephenson

Q: What college do you attend and what do you study?

A: I’m going to Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. I’m undeclared and undecided but I want to do something with math and writing.

Q: How has your college experience been different than high school?

A: College differs from high school in every way. Far less class time but far more out of class studying; a seemingly limitless number of student organizations; significantly more freedom to choose what your days look like and how to spend them. I go to a small liberal arts school so take this as you may, but the largest difference I’ve found has been student involvement. People are so passionate about the things they do and how they do them, it’s infectious.

Q: Did Oakwood prepare you for college? Is so, how?

A: I think Oakwood’s academics, more than any other element, prepared me for college. I’m trying to take various, branching courses of classes that all interest and challenge me.

Q: What is your favorite part about college?

A: The best part about college is the sheer freedom I have. On any given day I can see an a capella, watch a friend in a production, grab a bite out, and run amok! I’m not bound by a schedule dominated by a seven hour block of school; it’s incredibly liberating.

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Photo Contributed by: Olivia Anstadt

Olivia Anstadt

Q: What college do you attend and what do you study?

A: I’m studying art history at the American University of Paris.

Q: How has your college experience been different than high school?

A: College is way more relaxed yet much harder. I’ve already written a twelve page paper the night before it was due and it’s only been one semester.

Q: Did Oakwood prepare you for college? Is so, how?

A: Well, learning the correct way to write a research paper certainly helped.

Q: What is your favorite part about college?

A: [My favorite part of college is] the independence you gain.

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Photo Contributed by Ellie Treese

Ellie Treese

Q: What college do you attend and what do you study?

A: [I study at] VCUarts and I’m hoping to major in painting.

Q: How has your college experience been different than high school?

A: College holds a lot more personal responsibility but with that comes a lot of freedom that you don’t get in high school. Also, no one really cares so you can be your true self.

Q: Did Oakwood prepare you for college? Is so, how?

A: I think my time at Oakwood taught me about hard work and finding your passion because if it weren’t for art and theatre I wouldn’t have found my amazing friends or had all the opportunities that lead me to my amazing college life.

Q: What is your favorite part about college?

A: My favorite parts of college are the community in the art foundation program and being here in Richmond with my best friend, Rollie Fisk.

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Photo Contributed by: Haley Chipman

Haley Chipman

Q: What college do you attend and what do you study?

A: I go to university of South Carolina and I’m majoring in nursing.

Q: How has your college experience been different than high school?

A: In college, you actually use the syllabus and follow it relatively often. So don’t throw it away in the first week like in high school. Also, people are more open and accepting in college.

Q: Did Oakwood prepare you for college? Is so, how?

A: Oakwood definitely prepared me for college because I can handle the workload now and the English department especially helped me out with writing essays.

Q: What is your favorite part about college?

A: My favorite part about college is being able to stay out as late as I want with friends and not having a curfew that you need to follow.

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Photo Contributed by: Emma Flanagan

Emma Flanagan

Q: What college do you attend and what do you study?

A: I’m currently a Freshman Marketing major, at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Q: How has your college experience been different than high school?

A: College varies from high school in regards to the workload from courses and things to do on the weekend.

Since taking fifteen credit hours first semester, I noticed a significant increase in amount of time spent on homework, group projects, and essays. Time management has become a very important skill, as it helps to stay ahead in and prepared for classes. In addition, all of my classes are typically from eight am to noon which makes it very nice for me to then use the rest of the day for homework, internships, on campus jobs, socializing with friends, etc.

One of my favorite aspects of living in the nation’s capital is exploring the city and discovering new places to shop, eat, and take in the big city vibes of D.C. It’s very easy for CUA students to ride the red line metro into the city to enjoy the monuments, delicious food in Chinatown, walks along the Navy Pier, the National Monuments, Smithsonians, shopping in Georgetown, and so much more! I absolutely love living in D.C., and taking advantage of the many opportunities that this city has to provide for entertainment and to help further my career in Marketing.

Q: Did Oakwood prepare you for college? Is so, how?

A: The Oakwood City School District had an extremely strong influence on my education prior to college, which has helped me become the student and person that I am today. The high standards of excellence and rigorous courses helped the transition as I began my courses here at CUA. Honing skills such as time management, organization, leadership, and many more at Oakwood allowed me to balance my academics along with working on campus at the Kane Fitness Center, as a Teacher Assistant for a Business Management course, and Videographer/Photographer for the Busch School of Business. In addition, I also intern with the CUA Social Media and Marketing Team.

Q: What is your favorite part about college?

A: My favorite aspect of college is staying involved and active on campus through extracurriculars. At the beginning of first semester I was elected as one of two Class of 2020 Class Representatives for CUA’s Program Board, an organization that plans on campus events and dances throughout the year. This organization is one of my favorites, as I’ve met many of my closest friends in it. Program Board consists of 30 students from Freshman to Seniors with a wide gamut of talents, interests, and majors. I truly enjoy planning events for the CUA student body, and representing my fellow class to foster a strong sense of community. In addition, I was recently selected to serve as the Digital Marketing Chair for second semester, which consisting of creating promotional videos and photographing all Program Board events on campus.

In addition I am also involved in the following activities: Busch School of Business Admissions Team, Toastmasters, Business Women’s Council, Marketing Society, Marketing Chair for the NN2 Community Council, and Spanish club.

My past few months in college have been amazing, and I’m happy to share that I recently made the Dean’s list for my first semester grades. Hard work and dedication pays off, and I’m looking forward to see what the upcoming semester has in store!

By: Mira Sidhu

sidhu.mira@oakwoodschools.org

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