Westridge alumnae from the class of 2017 returned to campus today to be part of "College Conversations." Thirty alumnae spoke at this event about their experiences during the college application process and transitioning to life after Westridge. Panelists spoke on a variety of topics including keeping an open mind about what schools to consider, how they made their final decisions, considering transferring schools, if they were prepared for college (they were!), and what surprised them about college.
"From what I remember from around this time last year," said alumna Maddie D'Antuono '17, who is currently attending Tulane University, "this part of senior year is a time when it's terrifyingly easy to be influenced by everyone around you. Remember to be honest with yourself; this is your education, and this is where you're going to be spending the next four years, so wherever or however you choose to spend it, make sure it's the best fit for you."
The "College Conversations" event began seven years ago to help alleviate stress among the senior class. "Stress is contagious – it gets on you – and we hope that having our students hear these authentic stories from recent Westridge alumnae who are on the other side of the process, will help with that and help current seniors recognize that what they are experiencing is all part of a growing process," said Lynn O'Grady, director of College Counseling. "What students hear from our graduates is that every single student was accepted into a great college and, believe it or not, they were experiencing a myriad of similar feelings at this same time last year."
Many alumnae opened up about how their expectations and goals changed over the course of their college application process. "For a long time, I was being really stubborn and wanted to go to another school. But that other school didn’t even have my major – I don’t know what I was thinking!" said Laurence Diarra '17, who attends the University of Southern California's Viterbi School of Engineering. "USC has been the best experience of my entire life. I couldn't imagine myself anywhere else. If things aren't going the way you predicted they would go during this process, it doesn't mean it's wrong."
"I hope you'll support each other in this process," added Amanda Milley '17, who attends Stanford University. "Kindness really does matter."
View the photo slideshow from the event by clicking here.