Alumni return for panel

photo by Emily Bixler

After four years of walking the halls, 10 alumni returned to speak to current students.

The alumni panel was held Jan. 9 in the library. There, students had the opportunity to ask questions to the panel, most of whom are currently attending college.

Members of the panel spoke about their experiences applying to college, their time at college and a variety of other topics. They also offered advice to the largely senior audience, most of whom have not yet committed to colleges.

“It was nice to see that the things that we worried about weren’t that big a deal or maybe things that we didn’t know we should pay more attention to we should emphasize on when we apply to college,” said senior Hajra Sohail. “It was nice to have some advice from people who are in college, just to give us a little help.”

One member of the panel, Will Juppenlatz, graduated from Penn State University in December. Like several other members of the panel, he took AP courses in high school.

“The AP courses helped me get in the mindset of how you would take tests and write essays in college,” said Juppenlatz. “Overall, I think my experiences here really prepared me for college.”

During the panel, most of the alumni emphasized how customizable the college experience can be. Several alumni have changed majors, including Juppenlatz who switched from engineering to economics/history.

“Officially, you’re not really in your major until sophomore year, so going between majors was pretty easy for the most part,” said Juppenlatz. “I hadn’t missed too much switching between majors.”

Darnel Sanchez, currently attending Alvernia University for nursing, knew his intended career path even before college. In high school, he attended the nursing health CTC program.

“[CTC] definitely gave me an advantage because I have more exposure to the field,” said Sanchez. “If you take that extra step, it helps you a lot more.”

Some members of the panel graduated last year, including Sara Russo. Russo is currently attending Rochester Institute of Technology.

“It was weird coming back [for the panel] because we haven’t been back for a while,” said Russo. “It’s weird walking down the hallway knowing that was me a few months ago.”

Some of the panel members are attending school in PA, while others have gone further. Russo is among these, as RIT is located in New York.

“Part of me really likes [the distance] because I wanted to get away,” said Russo. “I do have some people I’m really close to and that’s hard, but it’s really nice getting away and experiencing a different space.”

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