Alumni Conversations - January  2015


    Makenna Finch (2014) - took a Gap Year. She's deferred at Hampshire College and will attend their next fall.  Her advice: get a jump on applications and essays this summer (for juniors).


    Amber Rose Bauer (2014) - took Gap Year. Went to Southeast Asia for three months. She applied to schools her senior year but didn't get into any of the schools she wanted to attend so she's going through the application process now with a new list of colleges. Advice: visit schools early on to get your own impressions instead of relying on what others say or on what the college itself promotes. Talk to students on the college campuses while you are there. 


    Halle Russell (2014)- choose Northeastern because it was the best school that she got into. She's having a tough time with the weather and the people on the East Coast. She's looking to transfer. She toured 11 schools in 5 days. Advice: write a college essay each year so you get started early.  Sheila Souder gave her a book about that. Take AP courses at Drake!


    Chloe Becker  (2014)- she goes to Santa Barbara City College. She is looking to transfer and has been accepted to Academy of Art and is waiting to hear from Dominican. Advice: spend one night at your targeted college or get one-on-one conversation with students who go to the college. She decided on a community college based on finances, knowing she'd have to get her general ed classes done no matter where she started. She had applied to four year colleges. 


    Liam Brooks (2014) - goes to Pitzer. He can take classes at any of the Claremont colleges. Has taken half of his classes at Pitzer and half at Pomona. UCSC, Lewis & Clark, and Pitzer were the only schools he applied to. Consider applying Early Action in order to get decisions sooner.  Submit your UC application early.  He visited a lot of schools that he ended up not liking (i.e., Whitman) so it's so important to visit campuses.


    Jordan Doering  (2013) - goes to CSU Long Beach and is a sophomore. He didn't do any college tours. He saw that school as a five-year old. Most students graduate in five or six years at UCs and CSUs.  No football team so there's not as much school spirit. Even if you're not into sports, a college with a football team will still add so much to the sense of community. 


    David Rice (current AP at Drake) - Your baggage doesn't come with you to college unless you bring it. You can reinvent yourself at college!


    Vicki Sarkisian (2012) - Northeastern, participated in the NU program and went to London for her first semester and then started NE in spring.  She learned to trust herself and not make excuses. 


    Jenae Casalnuovo (2014) - went to Santa Clara for first semester. Applied EA as it was her top choice.  She was not thinking critically about going there and whether she'd fit in. She's transferring to Dominican for second semester. She didn't want to admit to herself that she wasn't happy and didn't want to upset her parents. She has now realized that she has the power to transfer and that's empowering.  


    Sydney Dean (2014) - attends to U Arizona; wanted a school where no one from Drake was attending even though she  has many friends from here. The school is too focused on Greek Life. She's going to give it another semester but most likely will go to SBCC and then transfer to UCSB. 


    Sam Blanchard (2014) - attends Vassar; Originally thought he wanted a large school but kept changing his mind. Georgetown was his dream school - got deferred in EA. Got denied ultimately. Ms. Norstad recommended he apply to Vassar.  Be willing to explore your options. Don't have tunnel vision and don't set on one type of school.  He loves it there! Go in with an open mind. College doesn't equal perfection. Your baggage comes with you


    Tess Raskowsky (2014) - U Hawaii @Manoa - she loves it! She knew she wanted to go there and didn't apply elsewhere once she was admitted. You second guess yourself when you have too many options. You need to put yourself out there. Remember that everyone is in the same position so try to get over that barrier. 


    Advice: use people here that you know (teachers, counselors, etc) and ask about their college experiences. 


    Tess got offered scholarships to play soccer at certain schools but choose Hawaii cuz she knew she'd be happier there. Janea received a lot of money from Santa Clara and that's partly why she wanted to attend there. Happiness is more important than what financial aid a college gives you.  She figured out how much it cost for each class and it motivated her to go each day! Tess' parents gave her a minimum GPA to maintain or she'll have to come home and attend COM. 


    What did you not expect at all? Sam wishes someone would have explained what it would have been like to be at such a small school - don't make enemies! Janea's friends were competing as who was happiest - don't be afraid to tell folks you are unhappy. Everyone misses home or has struggles even if they love their school. Set ground rules with your roommate, especially if you don't see eye to eye. 


    Keep someone sober with you at your first party. Don't go out by yourself. Use common sense. Know your crew and know where they are out. Make sure you trust the people you go out with. 


    Attend your classes and focus on LEARNING versus grades.  You need to know things to be prepared for a future career or graduate school. 


    Attend your classes and read the books.


    Don’t waste your parents, or your own, money by not attending class. 


    Last updated by Sheila R Souder on 01/09/2015