Graduates give high schoolers advice

Students approaching college are filled with nerves, questions, and Pinterest boards of ideas for the next chapter of their lives.

Alumni affirm that GHS prepared them well for the future.

“GHS prepared me for college in so many ways. In a generic way, I was prepared for college in that my high school teachers really taught me how to study. The structures of their exams and assignments required me to put effort and energy into assignments, and the tests passed just memorizing material. My teachers taught me studying skills and prepared me for the dreaded final exams I would have in college,” Hayli Habig, 2012 graduate said.

The class structure and difficulty of GHS allows certain classes to be ACP, AP, or Duel Credit. Ella Garrison, 2017 graduate explained that utilizing these classes helped her get ahead at Indiana University.

“One thing I think GHS did a great job of preparing me for colleges was offering ACP classes. I took most of the ACP classes offered at GHS through IU, and I am now a semester ahead of the average freshman in my major. I was able to skip over the general education classes at IU because I already had those credits from high school. I am able to take more classes related to my major, and that makes me even more excited for my future,” Garrison said.

Graduates have learned the difficulties of applying for colleges from experience and share their advice.

“For pre-college students, really preparing yourself for the long and tedious process of applying for colleges helps ease stress. Make sure to stay on top of deadlines and submission dates because there are a lot of them,” Kyle McClarney, 2015 graduate said.

GHS has not only prepared students for college academically but by offering a range of clubs, organizations and athletics. Graduates testify to being prepared socially as well.

“I think even more importantly than study skills, GHS provided me with opportunities to get involved in extracurricular activities and clubs to figure out what my gifts and abilities were, without giving me any sort of entitlement. I was a cheerleader and loved cheering for the Woodmen, but I also loved my newspaper staff and the leadership I was taught from being EIC. I was also able to take a theatre class on a whim for an art credit, but I ended up loving it and really putting myself out there because of it. I was able to do cadet teaching, and here I am now teaching my own students. Not many people get that kind of opportunity at age 16, and I don’t know if I would have gone into teaching without having that opportunity,” Habig said, “While I wasn’t always captain, leader, or boss in every sport, club or activity I was involved in at GHS, it taught me to play my part for the betterment of everyone. In those cases where I was in charge, it taught me so many leadership skills that I used post- high school and even post-college.”

Though GHS has seemed to prepare students for college well, there are some things that cannot be taught and only learned through experience.

“My biggest piece of advice to high schools is to get involved in extracurricular activities and have fun in high school. Although school work can be stressful, don’t take the times of hanging out with your friends, games, or any of the small moments for granted,” Garrison said.

Whether a student is at a university close to home or miles away, staying connected and communicating with people from home becomes more difficult.

“Call your mom. She misses you. Even if she seems nosey and unrelateable, she cares and wants to hear about college. Plus, if she is helping you financially, the least you can do is call,” Habig said.

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