Eight CGPS alums took center stage in the theatre Wednesday evening, May 23, 2018 to tell an overflowing crowd of current sophomore and junior students and families just what to expect from college. Enrolled in schools that vary by size, geography, and style, they described—with humor and insight—classes, social life, and their own personal experience in transitioning from high school. “Time management” was by far the most common challenge; “writing” was a skill for which they felt well prepared.   

Janet Kraus, CGPS college counselor, and moderator, also asked panelists for their best advice to students beginning their applications to college. “Don’t get stuck on one school,” said Matt Rubin ’15 who will graduate from Emory University’s business school next year. “I was certain that only U Penn was the school for me. I was obsessed, but now I realize that it’s okay if you don’t get into your dream school. I love where I am.”

Another panelist, Marlo Shankweiler, ’17, who did get into her dream school, USC, discovered that it wasn’t quite the dream she had in mind. Not loving the large size, party vibe, or pre-professional focus of her program, she has successfully transferred to NYU’s Gallatin School where she will be able to combine her interest in music and humanities. 

By contrast, Elia Leviton ’17 is so happy with the University of Michigan that he declined his January admissions offer to Cornell. Gabi Eustache ’16, a neuroscience major at Bates College, touted the dances at her school that “probably sound corny,” but that “everyone loves and goes to.”  Arhaan Bulchandari ’17 was placed in the Boston College freshman dorm that is two miles from the main campus—but is still a huge fan of his school.  Sophie Saidmehr ’17, the sole alum enjoying an international experience at McGill University in Montreal, offered a number of nuanced observations: “The drinking age in Canada is 18, but there is not a huge drinking culture. Saturday night is more likely to find you having a glass a wine with a friend at a café, which I like.”

Other panelists were Juliette Cohen ’17, who is double majoring at Wesleyan, and Theo Wallach ’15, who graduated a few weeks ago from Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a degree in Mechanical Engineering—and yes, has a job. 

Memorable advice from panelists to high school parents? “Let your kids decide where to go to college.”  

Next year’s Alum Panel is scheduled for Wednesday, May 22, 2019.  

provided by Janet Kraus