Brian Roebke photo
Wrightstown students Emery Peck, Derek Brewer, Michael Buntin, and Jason Uitenbroek listen to the college panel last week at WHS.
By Brian Roebke
The Wrightstown High School FBLA chapter invited graduates who are now college freshmen back to the high school last week for their annual college panel, where Wrightstown alumni offer advice to students in the class behind them who are interested in attending college.
Sam Haese said everyone is in the same boat as them the first week, so they should try to make friends. “Just go out and talk to people any way you can,” he said. “You might not think you have anything in common with people but you never know.”
Van Zeeland encouraged them to take the classroom seriously because it’s a big shift from high school. “If you don’t take it seriously from the start, it can put you really far behind,” she said.
Others agreed the schedule is very different from what they were used to in high school. It’s no longer getting to school at 8 a.m. and leaving at 3 p.m. every day.
Some encouraged having at least one day of the week without any classes so they can be stable with their mental health by having a low-stress day.
College students have found lots of quizzes along with exams, and some professors include attendance in their grading.
Many of the students found out they need to study more now than they did in high school. Professors told them at the start of the semester, but not all of them took it seriously at first.
It can be very humbling to get a grade on a test lower than students are used to.
There’s also much more reading involved in college than high school. Some quizzes and exams include information that was in the reading but not discussed in class.
Advanced Placement classes truly gave students a picture of what college classes would be.
Thompson encouraged students to be as active as possible by exercising because it’s really easy to lay in bed all day.
“I eat a lot more now,” he said with a smile.
Brick said people should go in with an open mind because she was all set on physical therapy but now she’s changing to education and even changing schools.
“It’s okay to transfer,” she said. “It’s completely normal. A lot more people do it than what you think so don’t feel bad about yourself if you change your mind.”
Nockerts is a commuter but she has friends who don’t get along with their roommates and roommates tend to be a student’s only friend the first week.
“Join clubs or sports if you can,” she said. “That’s a great way to get to know people.”
Other students encouraged Wrightstown students to get involved in clubs related to their field of interest because there can be very good experiences before they start taking classes related to their major.
Nockerts looked for a painting club but didn’t find what she wanted, so she connected with some friends and professors and started one.
This year, students have been able to have all-virtual, all in-person, or a combination of classes in their schedules. Masks have been required in common areas but not in dorm rooms.
Professors have been very understanding about deadlines because of impacts of COVID-19.
Roommate issues were discussed a lot. The girls said generally girls rooming with their good friends from high school doesn’t work.
Haese said “don’t steal other people’s food” and said you have to spend a lot of time with your roommate, so you must find a way to get along with them and be respectful of their space.
They also said when in group chats to find possible roommates, be honest and don’t stretch the truth because that dishonesty may mean it’s not a good match and can lead to miserable living conditions.
They also sign roommate agreements the first week of school, outlining basic rules they agreed to, and those agreements should be adhered to.
Part-time jobs can be great because it gives student much-needed spending money and the jobs are often easy, even allowing students to study while they are working.
Girls said all girls should carry some sort of personal protection with them like pepper spray or mace in case they get in a situation where a man might attack them. Otherwise, they should always travel in groups or with another person they trust at night.
They also suggested bringing legal over-the-counter medications because people seem to be sick a lot.