The Timberline Paw Print

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The Timberline Paw Print

The Timberline Paw Print

Timberline Alumni Provide College Advice

Former Pack Members Return to the Den
Timberline has students attending Duke University, Princeton University, New York University, and The University of Texas at Dallas.
Photo by: Annabel Lawrence
Timberline has students attending Duke University, Princeton University, New York University, and The University of Texas at Dallas.

Last week, four Timberline alumni returned to THS in order to share their thoughts on their college experience as well as provide some expert advice to current Timberline students. The panel, hosted by Donna Decker, Timberline’s College and Career counselor, was aimed at giving current students an insight into the highs and lows of college life as well as help them understand the many choices they will have to make when choosing an institution. 

The Timberline alumni on the panel included: Max Jewell, a sophomore at Duke University, Justin He, a freshman at New York University, Michel Liao, a freshman at Princeton University, and Jessica Rice, a freshman at The University of Texas at Dallas. While each of these alums have had very different experiences at their respective schools, they share similar advice for prospective students. 

First, each of them agreed that the first semester of college is probably going to be difficult, as you are in a completely different environment with people who you’ve never met before. “Going out there, being on your own, and building up a circle around yourself is pretty hard, so it felt lonely for the first couple of weeks,” said He. And while all seemed to share a similar tough first month or two, Jewell in particular stressed the importance of not simply waiting around to be invited to social events, but to instead invite others and craft a group of friends that you want to surround yourself with. For Rice, making friends is not only crucial for social life, but for studying as well. “It’s really important to find friends you can study with and form study groups,” said Rice. 

When it comes to academics, each acknowledged that college is definitely a large step up from high school. For starters, there is no late work or test retakes, and professors are unlikely to show sympathy if you ask for an extension. When it comes to hours of studying a day, Jewell studies for 4-5, He studies for 3-4, Liao studies for 8, and Rice studies for 3-7 depending on how many tests she has that week. Moreover, if you are truly sick and are unable to attend class, it’s crucial that you go to your university’s urgent care/medical center and get a sick note, as that is the only way you will be excused from class.

As current Timberline students think about and make choices to attend various universities around the country, these alum advise considering a few key factors not only pertaining to academics and social life, but other elements as well. As Liao explains, it’s important to think through a school’s location, and particularly how it aligns with your own goals and interests. “See what your hobbies are like and if you’re going to be able to do them there, because if you’re not going to have them, then you’re not gonna be able to let some steam off during the week when you’re stressed and studying,” said Liao. It’s also crucial to consider cost, size, school spirit, and career opportunities. 

So while it can be stressful to choose a college, especially with rising costs and so many decisions, it’s also essential to understand that college is supposed to be a time of fun, learning, and massive personal growth. Although it’s a very big choice, it’s also one that’s necessary as we transition to a life outside of high school. No matter what institution you choose, we encourage you to commit to it fully and embrace every opportunity the school has to offer. 

And even if you end up in a place thousands of miles away from Timberline, never forget that wolves are always welcome back to the den. Who knows — maybe you’ll be able to return and share advice on a panel of your own!

If you have any college questions, please reach out to Ms. Decker in Room 101 across from the library or by emailing her at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Annabel Lawrence
Annabel Lawrence, Editor in-Chief
Hi! I'm Annabel Lawrence, a staff reporter for the Timberline Paw Print. This is my third year at the Paw Print, and I have had an absolute blast these past few years as I discovered a love for journalism. I’m the Editor in-Chief this year, and I absolutely love being on this staff. Through the years I’ve worked on sports pieces, international news, and many other articles, but my favorite kind of news is the stories that unfold around our school and local community. I’m a senior this year, and I’m really looking forward to going to college somewhere on the East coast and eventually pursuing a career in public policy. In my free time I love to travel, hang out with friends, volunteering at elementary schools in the area – really anything! I’m incredibly excited to continue providing news for the students of Timberline and to truly leave my mark on the Paw Print!  
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