My high school did not have a football team, nor did it have cheerleaders. The closest thing we had to a pep rally was Blue and Gold Week, a celebration of school spirit and the seniors, who were six months away from graduation. Following winter break, my school had its version of homecoming where alumni would come back for an advice panel, snacks, and a basketball game. This January I will return to homecoming for the third time as an alumnus, and I am excited to share my college experience with students and parents who are about to embark on their own college journeys and post-high school careers.
One of the questions parents usually ask is: What have you done to make the college transition easier? By easier, I hope they are referring to the many steps I have taken to ensure success at Conn. Like my small high school, Conn has given me the opportunity to connect with faculty who are dedicated to their students. My answer is simple and often times overlooked, “Those who ask for help will definitely be given it.” The students often groan because their teachers use the word “advocate” way too often, but in some instances hearing this from someone who has been in their shoes resonates with them. With parents in the room, most students are afraid to ask questions about the hardcore issues, such as parties and the social life on college campuses. Nothing is off limits at homecoming, but those who are afraid to speak approach us afterwards. They are smiling at the prospect of graduation, as are we seeing that we’ve left legacies of confidence and success at our alma mater.