by Perrin Stein
Five members of the Class of 2011 discussed their experiences in the past year during the First Year Forum, which was G- and F-blocks yesterday in the little theatre.
Guidance interns Jade Dunn, Allison McNamara, Nadia Sayess and Sarah Stewart organized and moderated the panel. Their questions sparked the panelists to reflect on this school and the experiences they are currently having.
Marena Cole currently attends Boston College and majors in psychology. She is also involved in the school’s marching band.
Cole said that although she did nothing psychology-related in high school, she took a risk and pursued it in college, a decision for which she is grateful.
“Don’t feel like who you were in high school is who you need to be going forward,” she said. “There are many new things to do and many new people to meet. It is important to try things and not feet so scared and intimidated.”
Robert Dalton spent the last year working part-time at Needham Sudbury Farms. He is looking into attending Mass. Bay this fall.
Even though Dalton currently lives at home, he said he has more freedom and independence now than he did in high school. He attributes this to the fact that he is a legal adult and that he takes care of his sister.
Dalton said his parents urged him to take a year off to reflect.
“There is plenty of time to think about the future. We don’t always realize that in high school, but sometimes, it is important to take time for yourself,” he said.
D.J. Jordan, who attends Emmanuel College, expressed the importance of getting involved in college.
Jordan said that in college, he works to apply himself more than he did in high school. “I spent the first semester getting all my work done, keeping my head down and not partying,” he said. “Second semester, though, I realized the importance of finding a balance. There is so much going on that you can really do anything.”
Maddie Perry goes to the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, a very small school in Needham. She said she enjoys the personal connections she has with professors.
“I have even gone to some of my professors’ houses,” she said. “However, I still have to work to form connections with my professors.
“I think the most important piece of advice I can give is: Connect with a professor. They are such valuable resources and can really act as a network and support system.”
Sam Melnick said he enjoys Syracuse University, a large school located in upstate New York. Because the school is so large, students are forced to assert themselves.
“College is really about being independent,” he said. “You have to know how to get your homework and laundry done because no one is going to offer help.”
In addition, the large size contributes to the great number of opportunities at Syracuse, Melnick said.
“I like that the school is large because there is something happening every night, unlike Newton. Because of this, it is really important to find balance. You can’t go out and party every night. School is very important.”