Career Center event presents panel discussions by former Blazers
The Career Center held a series of panel discussions as part of Alumni Day during third and fifth periods Wednesday in the auditorium to offer current students information about the college application process and the transition from high school to college. This is the second year that the Career Center has arranged the event.
Topics of the discussion, which was facilitated by Career Center assistant Carla Partlow, included how to prepare for the rigors of college, how college courses differ from high school courses and how to decide on a college and major. Attendees also asked the panelists questions about college life and events on campus outside of the classroom.
Partlow said the event was organized to give Blazers a better idea of the benefits of attending college. "With this discussion, students can understand from alumni what the college application process was like and get words of wisdom," she said. "It's an opportunity for current students to ask questions, get advice and understand the transition from high school to college."
The panelists offering advice were 2008 graduates Cody Burton, Mindy Or, Antony Mathias and Keith Jackson, and 2007 graduate Mara Duquette. The panelists currently attend a variety of schools including Princeton University, Emerson University, University of Maryland-College Park and University of Maryland-Baltimore County.
The college students offered tips to current Blazers about finding the right balance between work and play while away from parents' jurisdiction. "The transition to college is tough to some degree because of the freedom," Mathias said. "You have to learn time management. One of my biggest challenges and weaknesses at first was procrastination."
Mathias added that students should try to visit as many colleges as possible during late junior year and the summer before senior year. "The most important thing you can do is visit the colleges you want to apply to," he said. "Until you meet people there, you have no idea what it'll be like."
Burton said that when applying, students should consider their interests both inside and outside of the classroom. "Do things you like and be excited about them and it'll come out in your application," he said.
Burton added that there are numerous resources at Blair to help students hone in their skills and interests to decide what universities are right for them. "The Career Center has a lot of people who are more than willing to sit down and help you," he said. "They'll look at your grades and test scores and come up with a list of colleges to apply to." All of the panelists mentioned using either their Family Connections accounts or information available in the Career Center to help make their college decisions.
Duquette noted that an event like Alumni Day was not conducted during her senior year but would have helped her ease into college more smoothly. "It gives you a good impression of what to expect in college, hearing it from actual students instead of an admissions officer," she said. "I fit right into Emerson but it's still not easy getting used to a whole new routine."
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