Insights from Lake George Class of 2023 Alumni: Navigating the First Year of College

Alumni from the Lake George Class of 2023 returned to their alma mater on Thursday, sharing valuable insights with high school seniors about their experiences during their first year as college freshmen. The panelists, each attending different colleges, shed light on various aspects of college life.

Mattison Stark and Annika Schermerhorn, both attending Binghamton University, Robbie Oravsky, attending Vermont State University at the Randolph Campus, Sara Kassal attending The University at Buffalo, Anicka Erwin, attending the Culinary Institute of America, Emery Carl, attending Niagara University and Brandon Newell attending SUNY Schenectady County Community College discussed key topics such as choosing degrees programs, transitioning to a college campus, dorm life, and managing academic expectations.

From left to right: Emery Carl, Annika Schermerhorn, Sara Kassal, Anicka Erwin, Mattison Stark, Brandon Newall, Rob Oravsky, School Counselor, Steve Preuss

College students emphasized the importance of finding specific interests when choosing a degree. They suggested starting with an associates may allow the exploration of various fields before committing to a major. Many students also said the consideration of pricing for general education courses was crucial.

Many of the panelists stated the shift from high school to college was significant, with the need to find a new social circle, and they pointed out the changes in their friendships throughout the semester. Everyone embraced their new found independence and self-discovery without former influences as well and explained that visiting the college and freshman orientations were essential to understanding things like schedules, dorm life, and how to get around campus.

Lake George High School Seniors were especially interested in academic expectations.
College freshmen explained that managing credit loads and schedules required effective planning. Most recommended creating calendars, routines, and utilizing libraries to stay organized. They also explained it was crucial not to fall behind.

Outside of their academic lives at college, most students were involved in extra-curricular sports and clubs. They shared a diverse range of involvement in clubs, including manufacturing, radio, dance, and major-related organizations.

The shared experiences of these alumni provided valuable insights for high school seniors preparing for their college journey. From navigating academics to dorm life and extracurricular activities, the former students offered practical advice and reflections to ease the transition to college life.