McNicholas teachers share college advice for the Class of 2014

College is approaching quickly for the seniors of McNicholas High School. This transition can make students feel nervous, and oftentimes, emotional because of the uncertainty of their future. To assist with this transition for the soon-to-be-grads, McNicholas teachers share advice from their college experiences.

Choosing a college major is a decision where many students struggle. Students should choose a major that truly interests them. Latin teacher and Xavier graduate Paul Romolo watched many of his friends choose majors at the beginning of their college career, only to end up wasting a semester and switching majors.  Romolo said students should not feel pressured to decide on a major right away.

“The person that enters his freshman year of college and the person who graduates is rarely the same person with the same interests,” Romolo said. “Take care of your core courses early on, and let yourself grow into a field of study that really interests you.”

Staying focused in college can be a challenge. Sometimes, students fear they will get behind or even fail out. English teacher and Georgetown College graduate and McNick graduate of ’86 Jeff Mulvey has taught at two universities.  He believes that the newfound freedom of college often gets in the way of students’ studies.

“It is not lack of intelligence that sends most students packing during their freshman years; it is the inability to handle the freedom that comes with college life,” Mulvey said.

As college gives students freedom and chances to make their own decisions, Mulvey said college is a perfect opportunity for students to make decisions and stand by them.

“With no one to tell them when to get up, when to do their work, and how to spend their time and money, many freshmen end up failing and broke midway through their first semester and head back home,” Mulvey said.

Getting involved in college was a common piece of advice from many teachers at McNicholas. English teachers Emily Colella, a Xavier University alumna, and Katie Caster, a grad of Wilmington College, both said getting involved made college more fun. “It is obviously important to study and keep your grades up but aside from classes, have fun, get involved, meet new people, be open to new experiences, and always use your best judgment,” Colella said.

Caster stressed going to class and studying hard. “Studying doesn’t go out of style, and make sure to get involved and try new things,” Caster said. “College is also a time to reinvent yourself.  If high school didn’t go the way you wanted it to, you really do get to be your own person in college.”

Study abroad programs are one of the many different opportunities colleges have to offer students. History teacher Michelle Semancik attended St. Bonaventure University and is a McNick graduate of ’03. She recommends study abroad programs to every student.

Semancik brought up homesickness and how it affects many students in college. “I can almost guarantee you will be homesick immediately and think you’ve made a terrible decision, but at least wait out the semester, because I can also almost guarantee that the homesickness will go away after a week or two once you get involved,” Semancik said. “Only think seriously of transferring if that’s not the case!”

College can be the best years of a student’s life. Photography teacher Ellyn Whiteash attended Miami University and encourages students to apply themselves academically.

“College has the potential to be some of the best years of your life,andI would encourage the seniors to get involved, try new things and apply themselves academically,” Whiteash said.

Studying and working hard in college is important for new college students to succeed. Science teacher John Chadwell is a McNick graduate of ’06. He said that high school goes by fast, but college goes by faster. He recommends taking a lot of pictures.

“Work hard and play hard, but do it in that order,” Chadwell concluded.



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