Holy Cross High School's Guidance Department welcomed back six recently-graduated alumni to speak about their college experiences. Members of the Class of 2019 listened as their peers shared their experiences on college preparation, the admissions process, living away from home, their roommates, their academic workload, work/life balance and many other topics.
Alumni in attendance included: Isabel Plant '17 (Saint Edwards University), Madison Smith '18 (Endicott College), Emma Gargano '17 (Stonehill College), Claire Buckley '15 (Providence College), Sofia Lupoi '18 (UCONN) and Jonathan Barney '17 (Western CT State University).
"We've had over 85 college representatives visit us and talk about their schools," said Catherine Xeller, Director of Guidance. "They have been great in articulating what is awaiting our students after they graduate from Holy Cross. However, there is something extra special about having our seniors see college through the eyes of our recent graduates."
"It was nice to see the students and speak about how the things we learned here at Holy Cross prepared us for college," said Jonathan Barney. "We left this school with a solid foundation."
Sofia Lupoi still remembers an important lesson from Erik Lanese's Anatomy & Physiology class. "He instilled in us that it was on us if we missed any assignments or tests," she said. "This is the same policy as in college. That really helped to learn that at a high school age."
Several of the participants stressed the importance of time management, independence and relationships. One current student asked if any of speakers every skipped class. "My father did the math," answered Claire Buckley. "Every time, I step into a class, it costs $300."
Emma Gargano's comments echoed Claire's. "It is really important for students to learn early about the sacrifices parents make by paying for your college education," said Emma. "It is important that you take advantage of every opportunity."
Izzy Plant relocated halfway across the country to attend Saint Edwards University in Austin, Texas. "It was hard being so far away from home at first," she said. "I really had to put myself out there and meet people. It also helped to keep in contact with my friends from back home. That helped out a lot."
"I was used to talking to people here at Holy Cross," said Madison Smith. "Consequently, I was very open there, and I met a lot of new people. Recently, I started the American Sign Language Club on campus with a friend of mine. I am currently the Secretary."
Like Madison, Izzy Plant is involved with extra-curricular activities related to service. "Service is a huge part of my life, thanks to the values I learned here at Holy Cross," said Izzy. "Currently, I am the coordinator of Serve Austin, and I volunteer at River City Youth Foundation where I work with undocumented immigrants and single family homes."