Most people don’t often get the chance to feel like a celebrity — but when Success Academy graduates return to their old high school, they get a red-carpet welcome. In this year’s annual alumni reunion, returning SA scholars found a roomful of old friends and former teachers waiting with open arms, lots of questions, and phones at the ready for selfies.
Graduates munched on pizza and basked in the spotlight while seniors — whose college acceptances are rolling in — peppered them with questions about life on campus. How long did it take you to adjust to a new routine? What’s the social life like in college? How do you stay healthy mentally? In between sharing personal stories about new jobs — Shane’s doggy daycare gig has been great, even though it means being at work at 5:30am! — and the allure of an active social life — Ananda was just elected to the executive board of her swing club — our college freshmen and sophomores shared some pearls of wisdom that made us proud.
- Hang out with different people! You don’t have to find your best friend, but you do have to find groups who can support you in different ways. There are those who are learning the same class material as you — make studying more fun by getting through it together. Spend weekends with your crazy summer experience friends. Go for runs with those three fun people from your club.
- Everyone always says it’s important to get involved in college, but make sure you don’t get too involved! One of the best things about college is getting to explore new interests, but it’s also important not to get stressed by doing too much — otherwise you’ll lose focus and just be less healthy.
- Of course, parties are great — but so is finding your own style when it comes to time management. How much can you go out but still focus in class? How late can you stay up studying and still make it to work on time? This looks different for different people, so don’t just do what your friends do.
While hanging out with old friends was the true highlight of the evening, seniors seemed to appreciate the advice. As current SA senior Jahniya Kilgore said, “My main goal in college is to keep my grades up, so it’s helpful to hear how all these Success kids manage their time and their classes to keep focused.”
The Class of 2024 will be able to put the advice to good use in just a few months. So far, almost half have earned acceptances, some of them to selective schools like Boston University, University of Pennsylvania, SUNY Albany, Tufts University, Temple University, Northwestern, Yale, Cornell, Wake Forest, and University of Chicago.