College Panel brings back familiar faces to share college experiences

By Patty DeViva

College Panel 2012

Front row, left to right: Jess Swoboda '11, Villanova; Omeed Firouzi '11, George Washington University; Meghan Hourigan '11, New York University; Connor Kincheloe '10, PSU, University Park. Back row: Emily Smallwood '10, Clarion University; Cat Clements '11, Bucknell University; Becca Hosey '11, Wellesley; Gregory Barber '10, Lehigh University; Charles Amara '11, Moravian.

Every year in January Wyoming Seminary invites recent Sem grads back to campus to give invaluable insight for current students on the college process. No college catalog or Web site can convey real-life experiences like the ones expressed at the College Panel.

“I think the college panel is designed to bring back recent Sem grads who represent different types of students who have all survived the college process and have adjusted to college life. Usually we hope they will be students who were very involved in aspects of our community so they are familiar to the sophomores through seniors. I try to have a couple of college sophomores as well, because they have a greater perspective, have decided their majors, perhaps pledged a social organization like  a fraternity or sorority. We try to include at least one person in a special program. This year Emily Smallwood ’10 had taken a gap year, and Meghan Hourigan ‘11 is in theater at New York University which requires an audition. We also need students who are at small schools in small towns, in extra large state schools, and on city campuses,” said Jane Slaff, College Panel coordinator and associate director of College Guidance.

Senior Eric Cholish also added, “I think the College Panel always has value. Getting a perspective on college life from actual college students is always useful. They have first-hand experience, and many of them have only recently started to attend, and can more easily relate to students just about to enter college themselves. The panel covered a large variety of different types of students (student athlete, drama and theater, math and sciences, undeclared, etc), which helped provide insight on what to look for in a college and how to pursue your passions, be they athletics, arts, or anything else. Emily Smallwood’s information on the gap year was also really helpful, since many people aren’t ready for college at eighteen, but are afraid that putting their education on hold for a year will hurt them in the long run. It was a great way to show that there are other options besides going straight to college.”

Watch the College Panel video excerpt below:


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