“Alumnae Advice on College”


College: a word that, pandemic or not, can easily stress out the average senior and junior. Time and time again this happens, but what advice could they get to help with all the stress. Whether you’re a senior making a few last college decisions or a junior getting ready for the college process some advice could be helpful. 

Many alumnae came back on January 7th, 2020 for mass, so I took the opportunity to talk to alums and get a feel for what you need to know about college. I surveyed some alumnae with the question, “What did you not know going into college or something you wished someone had told you?” and there was a lot of great advice.

Before going to college, the big thing you have to do is pick one. This is one of the biggest stressors, but it doesn’t have to be. After conversing with lots of alumnae, I found that it really doesn’t matter too much where you pick because you’ll like at least one thing about any of your options. 

Maybe that sounds too good to be true, but even Sloane Montgomery class of ‘18, who switched from Tennessee State to Mizzou, quotes, “You won’t pick one you won’t like. You can find your crowd at any school. It’s not as dire as people make it sound.” Although you want to find somewhere that fits your interests and your standards, don’t stress too much on the few schools you know you’ll like. 

“You can be happy almost anywhere you go. It’s not that important what you pick, you can make it fun,” were some wise words from Erin Smith class of ‘17. There are going to be good people at any school you go to, so don’t think you’re missing out at another school. 

When picking a college, things to look at would be the environment, if it has majors that interest you, and if you’re comfortable there. Although you may not be able to visit in person, try to reach out to alums and feel out the vibe that way. Even if you still are unsure about what it is like there or you are undecided on a major, pick some place that has a variety of things to do that might interest you because in the end it’ll all workout.

In addition to picking a college, once you’re there, many alumnae stress the point, you should keep an open mind. Many people go into college thinking that their major won’t change or they know exactly what they want to do and what they want their friends to be like, but maybe that idea should change. If you stay open minded, college will be a lot easier. Highschool friend groups in college can be pretty different, but from the words of Brianna Chandler class of ‘19, “Be open to new people and to people you wouldn’t think you’d be friends with.” 

College is a time where your whole life can turn upside down, so you have to roll with the punches just like many of us have over this past year. Theresa Sholy class of ‘19 reassures, “Accept things as they come, you’re gonna have to adjust and that’s ok. Just get comfortable and used to things and they will turn out how they’re supposed to. It will be OK.” 

Naturally, in difficult situations people tend to be pessimistic, but I think it’s important to remember that changes in friends, majors, and everyday things don’t have to be scary. Let Barb Keunsting class of ‘18 remind you, “Be ready to have your entire life change. It’ll be completely different. Make some friends,” friends can always be helpful.

At Nerinx people participate in so much they may feel overwhelmed; don’t be afraid to get involved in college, though, because you’ll finally have the time. Alumnae repeated over and over that getting involved helps them find friends and helps them get out of the house.

 Another thing to take away from Nerinx is that Nerinx will always be a good community to come back to. Repeatedly, I got comments to remember Nerinx’s values and to be empowered in college. 

When college gets tough, “Call home and keep in touch. Nerinx is a good support system,” said Lauren Montgomery, class of ‘19. Good luck in college, Seniors, and good luck on your search, Juniors.