By Lisa Gsellman

On Thursday, December 19th, West Sound Academy Alumni from the Classes of 2018 and 2019 joined our current juniors and seniors for an informal talk on what to expect with their future college life. It is such a joy having them return to us on their winter breaks with gratitude and smiles for their WSA teachers and inspiring advice for the juniors and seniors.

The Q and A session was full of great information and certainly some humor. “What are the three things you think every college student should bring with them to their dorm, aside from the obvious?” was asked. Flip flops for the bathroom, a bathmat, a fan, a first aid kit, a hot pot, cleaning items, and a tool kit were the top must-have items. This was a nod to the challenges of living with other people with varying hygiene habits and preparedness for unexpected injury or late-night furniture assembly projects.

Some of their favorite things about college are the interesting variety of classes, helpful professors open to questions, clubs, and having more free time. Some of the challenges are time management, awkward roommate situations, and cafeteria food.

“Appreciate those home-cooked meals while you can!” said Trinity.

While IB credit can result in some fantastic college benefits, they unanimously agreed that it was their West Sound Academy teachers that prepared them for their college workload. Delaney said, “the testing you do in college, the papers you have to write… you’ve already done this style of work at WSA with the IB.”  They’ve learned how to connect with their professors, learned how to manage their time, practiced public speaking, and learned how to self-manage how they are doing in a course, knowing they won’t receive a grade until the end of the term. Seeing their independence and confidence is so heartwarming. They’ve got it!

The audience of juniors and seniors for the visit by WSA alumni on December 19, 2019Some unique insights they wanted to share with the juniors and seniors:

  • Do your reading. Just do it!
  • If you are given an assignment that won’t be graded, it serves as a study guide for your final exam. Do it!
  • Letters of recommendation are very important.
  • Appreciate your teachers now, and your professors when you have them.
  • Your professors are experts in their fields, and they want to share their knowledge with YOU.

“Open yourself up to be ready to learn” encouraged Sam Olson.

Joining us today from the Class of 2019 were Meina Lin (UW) Sam Olson (UVic), Alena Pulhug (UVic) Trinity Pine (WWU), and from the class of 2018 we had Audrey Jordan (WWU), Delaney Agodon (Willamette), Annika Nordleaf-Nelson (PLU) and Ruby Gsellman (WWU).  On January 7th juniors and seniors will have a chance to meet with more alumni joining us for a second perspective.