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Fox Lane Seniors Get College Advice from Recent Alums

 alums pose between panels at Fox Lane

Fox Lane High School seniors recently had the opportunity to listen to Fox Lane alumni panels discuss the transition from high school to college. These panels took place during students’ social studies classes and featured recent graduates who were home for spring break.

Facilitated by school counselors, the panels touched on everything from what a college schedule is like to roommates, peer pressure and the differences between high school and college.

“Our goal is to really talk about the transition from high school to college — socially, academically, living away from home, the good, the bad — everything about the experience and hopefully passing on some advice about things that worked for them or maybe things that they wish they had done differently,” school counselor Rori Mackie told seniors before one panel.

That panel featured two college freshmen, Jacob Feldman (Yale University) and Filipp Madubuko (Westchester Community College), and two sophomores, Dakota Frye (Emerson College) and Sara Mahedy (University of Hartford). They were open and honest about their experiences and highlighted not only the shift from high school to college but how each college experience can be very different.

Sara noted that attendance was a big deal at her university.

“My school is really strict on attendance,” she said. “We get three absences. After you've used all three, your grade will drop down a letter grade if you miss another class. Also, you get up to two lates. If you exceed that, your grade also drops a letter grade.”

Jacob was surprised to hear about strict attendance policies.

“I've actually never heard about absence policies like that for us,” he said. “If you don't show up, it doesn't necessarily affect your grade, but it’s obviously not very good for learning. And you probably are spending money to go to college, so it's ineffective to be absent a lot.”

One of the biggest things the alums noted as being different from high school is that students won’t have teachers chasing after them to complete their work.

“Professors aren't going to be on you as much to remind you,” Filipp said. “I’m not going to say they don't care, but they're not making it as much of a priority.”

The alums also told seniors to be prepared for challenges. While they all seemed to be having positive experiences, they weren’t without bumps in the road.

“My biggest challenge was trying to make new friends in a new environment,” Dakota said.

They stressed the importance of being open to talking to people you might not normally talk to and joining clubs. Other advice included being honest with roommates, utilizing your school’s resources and making sure to eat well and get enough sleep.

“You have to keep your head on straight when you’re there,” Filipp said.

Fox Lane Alumni Panel in action