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Alumni return to offer advice to prospective college students


Students from the Class of 2016 who are currently attending Penn State, George Mason, North Carolina A&T, William and Mary, UVA, Virginia Tech, James Madison, Longwood, and the University of Tennessee returned to Prince George on Friday, January 6th to offer words of wisdom from their first semester experiencing college life.

Students returned to Prince George during their semester break from their freshman year at college to offer advice to prospective college students. Photo by Bailee Wyatt.

The speaker event is one that has occurred for over ten years now and is organized by gifted coordinator Beth Andersen who moderates the event as well. She asks a series of questions to the panel and hopes that the advice might help prospective college students who are currently seniors and juniors in the coming years.

Alumna Dejanae Gibson attends Penn State University and is majoring in journalism and mass communications.

“The great thing about college is there is so much always going on. I love so many things about Penn State – you can just walk down to hear live music most nights of the week,” Gibson said.

Questions addressed some of the concerns rising seniors have about roommates, managing time, and study habits. Virginia Tech freshman Kevin Foster is majoring in theater and had to make adjustments his first semester too.

“I thought that it would be so great once I got to college because I could use my laptop to take notes when my professor presented the PowerPoints. I found out that for me going back to writing down my notes was much better,” Foster said.

“A lot of it is time management and I really don’t have much time on my own. It’s get up, go to class, go to practice, go to study hall, go to bed, and repeat,” North Carolina A&T freshman Marcey Jiles said. Jiles is on scholarship playing softball there. “We have a mandatory study hall that we must go to and a GPA we must maintain.”

Many of the panelists mentioned the opportunity most classes offer for long study sessions prior to the exam. Gibson encouraged the audience not to be worried about any outside influences.

“The one thing about your classes is that you should only be worried about your grades. You are on your own. You aren’t going to school for your friends, you are there for your education. So don’t be embarrassed if you need extra help,” Gibson added.

Of course, the university life isn’t all about adjusting to academics. The dorm and greek life is something that is new for everyone as well.

James Madison freshman Brendal Vargo describes some of the social activities on campus. Photo by Bailee Wyatt.

“I am in a co-ed fraternity at James Madison so it is a bit different from the other fraternities and sororities, so our purpose is more on philanthropy,” freshman Brendal Vargo said.

“I decided with my hallmates to get together and take the opportunity to meet some new guys. So we went to the Rush week activities and I ended pledging (Pi Kappa Alpha). So now I have 140 brothers,” University of Tennessee freshman Evan Ramsey said.

From changes in the classroom to new opportunities on campus, Prince George alumni had many words of wisdom. Now the wait for the letters of acceptance is all there is left.


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