Monday, March 31, 2014

thanks rhs class of 2013

Here are my notes from Friday.  Please feel free to edit and/or add your own observations in the comments.  Thanks once again to our panelists!

Ryland/UCLA (on the panel and the presentation):
  • Everyone here has real experiences with the things you have questions about.  It's one thing to hear it from Dr. Preston or Mrs. Dirkes; it's another to hear it from people just like you, so please feel free to ask any questions while we're here. 
  • We have Sam Garrison on Skype from American University in Washington, D.C, and Matt Patel is in Paris for a semester abroad through NYU so he made a YouTube video (both videos are at bottom of this post)
Laura/SDSU (on social life):
  • Step out of your comfort zone and meet new people
  • Be direct and open; stick out your hand and say, "Hi. I'm Laura."  That's how you do it
  • Keep things in proportion and balance your social life with staying on top of the courses and activities that will help you achieve your goals
  • Stay in contact with your teachers; it's too easy to be anonymous in a class of 500+ so email professors and go to office hours so they know who you are

  • (Ryland) If you're interested in Greek life...
  • Socials, fundraisers, philanthropy, service
Valerie/UCSB (on taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally)
  • Identify ways to balance yourself
  • Studies show that stress has negative effects (like the "freshman 15")
  • Remember that you are in control of your decisions-- what you eat and whether you exercise are up to you
  • Too many people neglect their emotional needs, and on campus a lot of people smile when they're really feeling depressed
  • College is a hard transition and your mom won't be with you all the time
  • Find an outlet (mine is drawing/art and talking with my sister) that works for you to calm you down and restore your balance
  • Mentally college is a lot of work and it's a different kind of stress than high school
  • Three classes in college is equivalent to 8 HS classes-- more in-depth and intense
  • Ask people for help and take advantage of office hours and college resources (like tutoring)-- collaborate!
  • Physically: find something you like to play or exert yourself through
  • (Ryland) You're going to be awesome and independent, but don't hesitate to stay in touch with people you love from home/childhood

Bernardo/UCLA (on coursework):
  • Take classes that interest you
  • Don't choose early morning classes unless you know you can function at that hour
  • Try not to sleep during lecture
  • Some people don't go to lecture-- professors don't care, your learning is up to you
  • Get a planner and remind yourself of the syllabus, because no one else will do the job for you
  • In college upperclassmen are generous and answer questions/mentor younger students

Chanel/Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (on housing & dining)
  • Double dorm rooms are tiny-- and homey
  • Some dorms are specialized by interest/major
  • Know how much personal space you need
  • I live in an apartment with 6 other roommates
  • Nice to have a kitchen at home & be able to share/borrow with roommates
  • Some roommates are closer than others
  • Since apartments aren't divided by interest/major, you meet people with different specialties who can tell you about what's happening all over campus
  • Expect to fight with your roommates at least once in a while-- it's what happens to people under stress in small spaces
  • Dining: Poly has the worst, so I'm lucky to have a kitchen
  • Meal swipe program helps me learn to cook by providing credit at stores
All panelists (on preparing for college using Open Source Learning):
  • You need to get used to learning independently
  • This is real-- you have to be on top of things on your own
  • You need to write, and sometimes the focus and process won't be evident until you've done the work
  • The best part of college is the energy level-- people are really motivated to do things
  • Campus is an energy center that attracts accomplished members of the public besides students
  • The meaning of life: people accept you when you want to discuss deep topics, life goals, the universe and everything else
{Here is the video that Matt made and the Skype capture of Sam's call from my laptop (below).  More soon courtesy of Lesther and Miranda.}

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