This winter, Colorado Academy hosted two alumni panels, one that focused on topics relevant to CA Juniors, and another for current Seniors that covered questions about transitioning to college. Enormous thanks to our ten alumni who shared their stories, guidance, and wisdom with Seniors: Ella Bittman, Eliza Davis, Emily Dawson, Davis Ebel, Andrea Gonzalez, Graham Osman, Elide Rojo-Gutierrez, Winston Palmeri, Micah Rydberg, and Cleo Smith. And thank you as well to our eight wonderful alumni who spoke to the Junior class: Emilio Teran, Jared Miranda, Justin Ferrugia, Nick Fuselier, Ali Altman, Claire Greydanus, Mia Kravitz, and Sophie Sileo.
These young alumni spoke of their experiences at Tufts University, Auburn University, New York University, CU Boulder, University of Richmond, Wake Forest University, Bates College, Colorado School of Mines, Arizona State University, Macalester College, Knox College, Connecticut College, Colgate University, Boston College, Washington University of St. Louis, Yale University, and Sewanee: The University of the South.
A small sample of their thoughts and advice
Academically I felt well-prepared, but lecture halls of 300 are tough—teachers don’t know your name or if you do the work, so you have to be on top of things and take control.
I’m a first-gen student, the first in my family to go to college. That in itself was really difficult. But I relied on my college counselor for help. The college counselors here are wonderful and know so much. Go to the office often and use them. You’ll love them after you leave CA. And who doesn’t want to go see Cyd?
Orientation weeks are a great way to make friends. EVERYONE wants to meet new people and everyone is in the same boat. Step outside of your bubble, smile, and be friendly. Sometimes there are outdoor trips before on-campus orientation starts, which can be great. Once school starts you have a pre-set small group of people you know well.
Join clubs, because you have so much more unstructured time in college and those help give it structure. In college, you need to make the effort to go out and volunteer, but it’s really important—both to give back to your community and to get away from the bubble of campus.
Working as the philanthropy coordinator for my sorority allows me to travel around the town and get to know communities in the area.
If you play a sport, that can be a shock. I wasn’t ready, even at the DIII level, for the fitness routines and spending 4-5 hours each day at the athletic center training.