Four recent graduates of TMI – The Episcopal School of Texas took time from their winter break to share their college knowledge with this year’s seniors at the annual Alumni College Panel, held Tuesday, Jan. 08, in Frost Athletic Center.
The returning young alumni were Kyle Bowers ’10, a junior biochemistry/premedical studies major at the University of Tulsa; Andrew Murphy ’11, a Vassar College sophomore; Morgan McMillian ’12, a freshman at Texas A&M University; and Mackenzie White ’12, a freshman in the Plan II Honors Program at the University of Texas at Austin.
The seniors’ questions covered everything from the application process and choosing a college to living arrangements, time management, making friends and choosing courses and professors. The young alums answered with tips to help the younger students make a smooth transition from high school to higher learning.
Asked how to make an application stand out, Mackenzie said, “Be creative in your essays; don’t write about anything that’s already covered in your résumé. Write about something else that makes you ‘you.’ ”
To stand out in large college classes, the college students agreed: Sit in the front, don’t skip class, ask the professors some questions and do every assignment they give you – “suggested” problems may turn up on a final exam.
If you’re not sure what you want to major in, said Kyle, “Don’t be afraid to change your major as many times as you need to. It’s all about ending up in the one that’s right for you.”
Most important to the young alums in their transition was learning to work within a new schedule. Mackenzie estimated that she spends two or three hours in classes each day, with about three hours worth of studying to do after or between classes. “I try to get it done in the daytime,” she said, “so I’ll be finished in time to hang out with my friends in the evening.”
The college environment is “not as restrictive as high school,” said Kyle. “You don’t have homework every night, and your grade could depend on just two tests, a midterm and a final. You have more freedom and more spare time, and it’s up to you to figure out what to do with it.”