To the Class of 2020: Severn Gives You the Tools, the Rest is Up to You
Searching for the right college isn’t always easy. From location to cost and curriculum to culture, each school offers a different mix of what our graduating seniors may (or may not!) want for their futures. With so many factors to consider coupled with natural anxiety about the unknown, it can be all too easy to feel stress rather than excitement about the jump from high school to college. To help ease this transition, a group of Severn alumni visited campus to share words of wisdom with our seniors.
Those Who Know It Best
Our seniors have a whole crew of people cheering for them — teachers, college counselors, administrators, and parents. But no one understands what they are going through better than those who have just done the same thing. With that understanding, College Counseling Co-Directors Mr. David Brunk and Mrs. Kimberly Coughlin schedule an annual alumni panel to talk with our seniors about their first two years away at college.
Voices of Varied Experience
This year we welcomed six accomplished alumni from the Class of 2018: Shreeya Bahethi, Will Barroll, Ashley Clifford, Cooper Emmons, Josie Formica and Yasmeen Meek. Ashley and Shreeya attend the University of Maryland with majors in engineering and biology, respectively; Ashley plays club field hockey. Josie attends American University, is on the field hockey team, and is interested in studying math. Yasmeen attends Tufts University in Massachusetts with a double major in economics and international literary and visual studies. She also started a chapter of Period at Tufts to support women in need. Will attends the University of Richmond where he studies business administration with a concentration in finance and accounting. He belongs to a fraternity and is applying to spend a semester abroad in his junior year. Cooper started at Furman University in South Carolina, studied abroad over the summer, and transferred to the University of Miami where he now studies math economics. Each offered a unique point of view on the college experience.Our seniors asked questions about workload, schedules, traveling abroad, adjusting to bigger schools and class sizes, and how to balance activities with academics. The panelists shared thoughtful and practical advice:
If you’re in a large lecture class, sit at the front. It makes it feel smaller.
Go to your professors' office hours and develop a relationship with them. Put it on your calendar like it’s a regular class. If they get to know you, they will root for you.
Don’t worry about being close friends with your roommate or having a lot in common. People who are really different from each other sometimes get along the best.
You have a lot of freedom so use your extra time to get involved. Don’t waste it by sitting on the couch.
If you’re interested in studying abroad, really check into that when you’re looking at schools. Some schools sound impressive with programs to over 175 countries, but they have limits on how many students can participate in the program. You wouldn’t know that unless you ask.
The panelists shared that Severn prepared them well for college-level writing assignments, the ability to balance a rigorous schedule, and learning how to motivate yourself. As one panelist said, "Severn gives you all the tools you need, but it's up to you to use them."
Your College Counselors Are Here to Help
Mr. Brunk and Ms. Coughlin work one-on-one with each student, which empowers them to advocate for our students, highlight special strengths, and support college applications with letters of recommendation. Having each spent years in college admissions before transitioning to college counseling, they stand ready to answer all of your questions about admission testing and application procedures. They are here to help Severn students and families navigate the college decision-making process to find the right match — for the people our students are and the people they hope to be.
Our counselors hold other events throughout the year to give Severn families the best resources possible to make informed decisions. Events include:
Annual alumni panel Q&A
College nights for juniors and seniors
Summer college workshops for seniors
Annual AIMS college fair
Paying for College: Helpful Strategies for Parents