Words of Wisdom from the halls of WHS

As their time wraps up in the hallways of WHS, the senior class and staff members have decided to impart some wisdom onto the next generation of Blue Devils. They discuss their experiences in high school, applying to college and offer advice for the future.

Q: What is your best advice for  students applying to college?

Maureen Mazzarese (Head of Guidance): “My best advice is to pursue your interests and try new things. Figure out what you care about, and then commit to those things. Then you find a college who wants who you are; don’t morph into who they want. I think what colleges are really looking for is the genuine applicant, somebody who demonstrates that they are truly that person, not the person trying to be who they want.”

Ashley Hu (Senior): “I think the biggest thing to note is that no matter what, you’re going to  end up somewhere that you’re going to enjoy, and college is not the end. I grew up with parents who really pressured me to become a doctor, but I realized, this is my life. Know that college isn’t the end so don’t set your expectations way too high.”

 Chloe Oliveira (Senior): “When applying, start as early as you can, just so you have enough time to really revise everything. Also with recommendation letters, start right now; I asked for mine during April of my junior year just to give teachers enough time and make the best possible recommendation for you.” 

Cottler Veirschilling (Senior): “Don’t spend your whole life applying and researching colleges because the internet can only tell you so much. Plus, apparently everyone’s number eight in the country for dining hall food.”

Q: What is your best advice to students on choosing the right college?

Mazzarese: “I think once you have those acceptances, visit the campus with the confidence that you could be here if you want it to be. Take another look at what kids are doing, what the classes look like. If you have the privilege of making a decision then you should look at what the school has to offer. Does it have the courses you might be interested in? Is it affordable for your family? Can you still see yourself living there?”

Vivian Jeckell (Senior): “Honestly, once you visit the campus, you’ll have that magical moment where you know that this is the place where you’re going to  want to live and you’re going to  want to study for four years. The school that I’m going to end up going to, my dad actually looked at me and said, ‘You’re so happy right now and I haven’t seen you this happy in a really long time.’”

 Oliveira: “When you get your acceptance I’d say enjoy it and be proud of yourself. Make the best decision for yourself and make sure you’re going to thrive in that environment. Think of everything, not only the school, but also the places around it, the people that go there and the weather.”

Q: What is something you would encourage high schoolers to experience?

Sean Koellhoffer (Senior): Try anything at least once. If it even mildly interests you, go to a meeting and see if you like it, and worse comes to worst, make your own club or team. I haven’t done anything really specific and I kind of regret that now.”

 Oliveira: “I would say the arts programs, or the language clubs. I did the Italian club; I had a lot of fun with that because it brings a sense of community and you gain friendships from it. You get to know other people from other grades, too.” 

Hu: “I think having a club is great, but don’t do an academic club just for college. I did the environmental club and you get to meet new people who will like stuff you like.” 

Jeckell: “I would encourage people to participate in the Spanish club and Spanish Honor Society. I know that definitely looked very good on my college application, as well as the seal of biliteracy because I am going to go on to minor in Spanish in college.” 

Q: What is your best piece of advice for high school students?

Koellhoffer: “Get to know your teachers because they are there to help you. In class, try not to be distant. Try to participate as much as you can. Put yourself out there and it’ll help both with grades and making friends.”

Vierschilling: “My best advice to high school students is to treasure every second of it. You know, it really goes by fast. Everybody says that [but] until you sign up for your college orientation class, I don’t think a lot of people really understand [it].”

 Oliveira: “I’d say don’t stress about every little thing. Obviously, you want to work hard, but it’s not good for your mental health, and it won’t get you the results you want if you’re always stressed out. Really take time for yourself and be positive.”

Hu: “I hope they realize sooner than I did that I should have had a little more fun. After you get into college, [you’ll feel] like ‘Wow, I stressed myself out over one decision.’ Enjoy yourself.”