Westwood Seniors Enjoy Bagels, College Advice

Jaime Pallatta, Managing Editor

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For a group of overtired students, only inches away from being second-semester seniors, any morning that starts with free bagels is a good morning.    In fact, it was the free bagels that likely enticed a lot of Westwood High School students, who normally enjoy sleeping through their first-period study hall on D days, out of their beds and into the school in time for the dreaded 8 o’clock bell.

However, there was definitely more to Friday’s event than just the free bagels. Senior class advisors, Eileen Nagle and Elizabeth Farrell, put together an informative panel to give the seniors just a little more preparation for college in the fall.

    The panel discussion was led by Nagle and Farrell, featuring a group of former Westwood students who are now traversing the world outside of Westwood’s halls, studying at various colleges. According to Farrell, the idea for the panel came from “Juniors and Seniors frequently asking their teachers about college”. Nagle decided it could be a good idea to have a number of recent grads come talk to students about their first years at college seeing as they have recent experience and students are more apt to listen to their peers.”

    And listen they did. Senior Jess Potestivo said, “It was helpful that we had kids speaking to us, not adults that haven’t been in college for a while. The stories, experiences, and perspectives of the panel are definitely a lot closer to what we can expect when it’s time to start this next chapter of our lives. Also, the fact that we knew all the students made it that much more real because it hit close to home.”

    The panel consisted of eight college freshmen and sophomores each studying something different at a different college. Questions touched on a little bit of everything from move-in day to time management skills, making friends to relationships with professors, etc.

    There was a lot of valuable advice brought up and even some points that could have otherwise been overlooked, like how even though move-in day is really hectic, it’s a great time to meet people and start building relationships. There were some key things that stuck out as transcendent no matter where the seniors end up next year, including: “confidence is key in making friends,” “finish senior year strongly,” and “make the best of everything, even during the hard times when you miss home and your friends.”

    Senior Renee Gioe said her biggest take away from the panel was “to get involved in clubs that really interest you and to be open to making new friends, not to hide away because you might be having trouble adjusting.”

The truth is, no matter where students go after Westwood, life is going to change a lot and any piece of advice before that huge change comes is welcome and embraced. And for all you juniors, don’t fret! Your time for free bagels will come! Farrell said, “I would definitely do this again next year. Both Nagle and myself want our students to be prepared as possible for college and life after high school.”

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