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AHS alumni have words of advice for the newest graduating seniors

By Aleeza Zinn

With high school coming to a close, seniors finish AP testing, finals and prepare for their new college lives. Luckily, current seniors and future seniors have advice from alumni to guide them on the next part of their life. The Oak Leaf interviewed seniors from last year’s graduating class of 2014 and the graduating class of 2013 for advice.

Alumni:
Gabrielle Obando; class of 2013
(Cal State Univeristy Fullerton)
Mackenzie Cala; class of 2014
(Boston University)
Nathan Yick; class of 2014
(San Diego State University)
Connie Lin; class of 2013
(UC Santa Barbara)
Emmett Kaake; class of 2014
(San Frncisco State University)
Isabel Saxty; class of 2013

Gabrielle Obando

Obando
Photo courtesy of Gabrielle Obando

Q: What have you been doing since graduation?

A: I have been attending Cal State University Fullerton. I spent my first three semesters as a Theatre major however in my fourth (and current) semester I have changed my major to Entertainment and Tourism Communications.

Q: If you could re-do your senior year, what would you have done
differently and correspondingly
what would you recommend future high school seniors to do?

A: I would have to say that I would have stressed less about college and applications and taken more time to focus on the importance of spending what little time I had left with my family and friends at home.

Q: Do you have any college advice for the graduating AHS seniors as incoming college freshmen?

A: College is literally a fresh start for you. Just know that life changes so much once you enter college and as cliche as it sounds, you can really be whoever you want to be. The person you were in high school doesn’t matter anymore — no one cares if you were “popular” or a “nerd” and honestly, labels like that don’t even exist in college so it’s just in general a much better place to be whoever you REALLY are.

Mackenzie Cala

Cala
Photo courtesy of Mackenzie Cala

Q: Do you think Alameda High School prepared you well for college?

A: I think that Alameda High did a very good job socially preparing me for college. Having gone to a high school so large and diverse well-prepared me for the life of a college student.

Q: If you could re-do your senior year, what would you have done differently and correspondingly what would you recommend future high school seniors to do?

A: If I could re-do my senior year, I would stress a LOT less. I’m a firm believer in the fact that things always work out for the best, and keeping that in mind during the college application process is very important. It’s important to remember that your worth and and abilities have nothing to do with the schools that you get into. Also, apply for all the scholarships. College is expensive, and you don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to lighten the load for your parents.

Q: Do you have any college advice for the graduating AHS seniors as incoming college freshmen?

A: The biggest college advice I can offer is that I encourage everyone to really be honest with themselves. When applying to schools, truly look at schools that are going to make you happy.

Also, when you get to school, be comfortable with the fact that you are going to change. Be open to new ideas, new people, new classes, new passions.

Nathan Yick

Yick
Photo courtesy of Nathan Yick

Q:What have you been doing since graduation?

A: Since graduation I have been studying at San Diego State University in pursuit for my degree in journalism.

Q: If you could re-do your senior year, what would you have done differently and correspondingly what would you recommend future high school seniors to do?

A: I would probably study more and take senior year more seriously and get better grades. Also I would probably spend more time on my college apps.

Q: Do you have any college advice for the graduating AHS seniors as incoming college freshmen?

A: I would recommend being open minded and don’t be afraid to experiment. Meet a lot of people and join Greek life if your school has it.

Connie Lin

Lin
Photo courtesy  of Connie Lin

Q: Do you think Alameda High School prepared you well for college?

A: I don’t think anything could prepare anyone for college honestly. High school is such a different experience from college- classes, social life, the individuals you meet and interact with. I had some amazing teachers at AHS and made some incredible friends, but in terms of gearing up for college, I think that’s up to the individual and not the system they were put in.

Q: Do you have any college advice for the graduating AHS seniors as incoming college freshmen?

A: My first bit of advice would be to keep an open mind. I didn’t get into my top choice school and being in a college town was the last place I saw myself at. But having an open mind allowed me to really look past that and enjoy my college experience. My second thing would be to GET INVOLVED. You meet so many passionate people and putting yourself outside of your comfort zone really allows you to grow, get experience, and prepare yourself for the REAL world.

Emmett Kaake

Kaake
P
hoto Courtesy of Emmett Kaake

Q: What have you been doing since graduation?

A: I now attend San Francisco State University.

Q: Do you think Alameda high school prepared you well for college?

A: Definitely.

Q: If you could re-do your senior year, what would you have done differently and correspondingly what would you recommend future high school seniors to do?

A: I wouldn’t do much differently. Maybe try and be on time a little more. Do the musical… Or don’t your call.

Q: Do you have any college advice for the graduating AHS seniors as incoming college freshmen?

A: Tell Dean Shawn I miss him. Eat a snickers.

Isabel Saxty

Saxty
Photo courtesy of Isabel Saxty

Q: What have you been doing since graduation?

A: Since graduating from AHS I have become a Media and Communications student at the University of Sussex in England. I’ve become very involved in the dance society at Sussex and have recently been elected as Vice Captain of the University of Sussex Jazz Dance team as well as a member of the Contemporary dance troupe.

Q: Do you think Alameda high school prepared you well for college?

A: I do think Alameda High prepared me well for college because it was an environment where I learned to push myself academically, manage my time, and be a more outgoing person and student.

Q: If you could re-do your senior year, what would you have done differently and correspondingly what would you recommend future high school seniors to do?

A: If I could re-do senior year of high school I would just try to be positive and relaxed. A lot of that year was spent worrying about what college I would end up in (because English universities don’t release acceptance letters until June) and sometimes it took over the fun aspect of being in the last year of high school. So, my advice to any seniors would be to keep your grades up but also just enjoy yourself and be proud that you made it this far.

Q: Do you have any college advice for the graduating AHS seniors as incoming college freshmen?

A: My advice for incoming college freshman would be similar. Freshman year of college is basically a chance to reinvent yourself so why not surround yourself with people you really connect with and find something to do that you can count on to make you feel good no matter what. Also, just make good choices, there will be so many opportunities to things that are fun but also sometimes risky. Make sure you have a plan and don’t forget the buddy system.

 

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