How to take the next step

BC grads return for a panel discussion with high schoolers

If you could go back to your high school self and deliver a message, what would it be?

Odds are most of us would have some sagely advice, even after just a few years. That was the idea behind a recent forum at the Bethlehem Central High School entitled Life After BC and organized by Bethlehem Opportunities Unlimited. Nine BC graduates, mostly recently returning to town from college, held a panel discussion to talk to high schoolers about life in college and the application process Tuesday, May 24.

Questions covered a wide range of topics but there was one overarching theme from all the college students: don't stress out.

"You don't really have to know what you're doing at the beginning of freshman year," advised Sarah Rabinow, a student at the College of St. Rose.

That can be an important message. The last few years of high school usually feature mounting pressure on teens to bolster their academic and extracurricular resumes, write application essays, narrow in on a possible career path and select a few schools out of a pool of thousands. It's no easy task, but as noted by Chris McGinn, a SUNY Geneseo student, the competitive atmosphere of the college search dissolves come freshman year.

"Once you're at the school, you're all in the same place and no one cares," he said.

BC High School junior Doris Frasca said she appreciated the candidness of the panelists. After wading through a sea of marketing materials it was nice to hear some honest opinions, she said.

"A lot of the time on college tours you don't really get that," she said.

BOU's Karen Kissinger said the event came together nicely, and she would love to see it become an annual forum.

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