Mill Valley alumni give advice to prospective college students

Reflecting on their own time in college, Mill Valley alumni share college advice from their own experiences

Hannah Chern and Aiden Burke

Q&A: Nathan Greenfield (Class of 2020), University of Kansas

Nathan Greenfield

JagWire: What advice would you give people when it comes to choosing a roommate?

Nathan Greenfield: Be open to new people … just find someone who you kind of vibe with and who you know you’re not going to get into big conflicts with.

JW: How can people get more involved in college?

NG: When I got to campus, there were a lot of events to showcase the student organizations … go to those and just be out on campus and people will approach you and talk to you about joining clubs.

Elizabeth Joseph (Class of 2019), Washington University in St. Louis 

Elizabeth Joseph

JagWire: What advice would you give seniors entering college?

Elizabeth Joseph: Invest into interpersonal relationships because that is what college is all about. You can get an education anywhere. That also includes going to office hours or emailing professors more about questions. Focus on forming relationships and doing more spontaneous fun things with people and not just focusing on school all the time. 

JW: How should someone take care of themself?

EJ: Eating something that tastes good and nourishes your body [in college] is kind of hard. Figuring out how you can cook yourself is really important. For me, being able to cook for myself and go to the gym also gave me a sense of freedom and control in my life. 

Nico Gatapia (Class of 2020), Kansas University

Nicholas Gatapia

JagWire: What advice would you give seniors entering college?

Nico Gatapia: You don’t need to know what you’re doing or what your major will be. The major you pick isn’t totally set in stone, so it’s perfectly fine to change your mind later down the road.

JW: How can people get more involved in college?

NG: There are plenty of clubs and activities to join on campus. They’re a great way to meet people with similar interests. If clubs don’t interest you, meeting your neighbors and other students will also result in friends because everyone is open to meeting new people

JW: Do you have any advice for seniors on how to choose classes?

NG: Work with your advisor to figure out which classes you need to take for your major. If you don’t know what you’re doing the advisors will help put you on the right track. Also, knowing the reputation of the professors is super important. Check Rate My Professor before enrolling in any class. Also, talking with upperclassmen that have taken the class will help tremendously with knowing what you’re getting into.

Megan Overbaugh (Class of 2020), University of Kansas

Megan Overbraugh

JagWire: What advice would you give seniors entering college?

Megan Overbaugh: Keep a schedule as best as you can. Try to stay on top of deadlines and not let yourself get overwhelmed because it’s a lot easier to stay on top of things, stay prepared, and perform well in school if you give yourself the room to breathe.

JW: What should new college students do if they need help?

MO: Colleges have a lot more resources than you would expect. At KU, they have a writing team you can get writing feedback from. Find people who can answer your questions because there’s a lot of people who know things that can be helpful to a new college student.

Hannah Barnes (Class of 2019), University of Missouri

Hannah Barnes

JagWire: What advice would you give seniors entering college?

Hannah Barnes: Give it time. Don’t be upset if your freshman year isn’t what you expected. It’s not supposed to be an awesome thing. It’s supposed to be a year of finding who you are and finding new people and adjusting to a new space for the first time. So just give yourself time to really let that soak in, and don’t be so hard on yourself for needing some extra time to find those areas.

JagWire: What is a piece of advice seniors should know regarding college classes?

HB: Go to class. That’s really all you need to do to succeed. I made the mistake freshman year of taking a bunch of 8 a.m. classes, so every morning it was a pain to have to get up at 7 a.m. and hike all the way across campus, which led to me skipping maybe a few too many classes.

Avery Liby (Class of 2020), Kansas State University

Avery Liby

JagWire: What advice would you give seniors entering college?

Avery Liby: I would tell seniors entering college not to have any expectations. I went into college having a really specific view of how I thought it would be and it’s nothing like I thought. The fact that it’s different doesn’t make it bad but I was preparing myself for a reality that didn’t exist.

JW: What advice would you give for getting involved or getting to know people in college?

AL: Getting involved this year has been hard because of COVID-19’s effect on the activities that are available to participate in. What’s helped me is going to the gym, keeping my door open to meet people on my floor and trying to go out as much as possible. Also, getting involved in Greek life has helped my friends, but it’s just not my thing.

JW: What advice would you give for taking care of yourself/staying healthy?

AL: Going to the gym with my friends has been a great way to stay in shape because they make exercising a lot more fun. It’s a nice break from doing schoolwork in my room all day. Eating healthy is a lot harder since you don’t have options at the dining hall so I try to get healthier snacks at the grocery store to eat in between meals. Taking care of my physical health usually helps my mental health to fall into place.

Andrew Tow (Class of 2020), Kansas State University

Andrew Tow

JagWire: What advice would you give seniors entering college?

Andrew Tow: I would say to have a plan to meet people when you get to college. Your first couple of weeks are when you will meet some of your best friends. Getting out there and meeting new people is super important to have a fun college experience.

JW: What advice would you give for taking care of yourself/staying healthy?

AT: Prioritize getting outside. In a covid environment, it is so easy to simply stay in your room all day. Going to the park or gym is a great way for anyone to take care of themselves and make sure you’re staying healthy.

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