North hosts Alumni Day to help students learn about college


Brenda Smith

Graduates from Grayslake North visit with students in English classes.

On Friday, January 10, graduates from Grayslake North attended the very first Alumni Day. Panels of graduates went to junior and senior English classes to discuss life in college. During their interview, they discussed their experience transitioning from high school to college and the new lifestyle they’ve adapted to.

Students learned that in moving to college, a lot tends to change. Most of the time, students leave their friends and family to go to a brand new place alone. Many students say they actually miss their family more than they thought they would, and often find themselves calling home for comfort. 

Freshman at Illinois State University, Rachel Garza, explains how difficult it really was for her. “I was so ready to leave and just get away from my parents and to just have that independence, but I also found myself coming home every other weekend to see my family,” said Garza. Being independent and finally going into the real world is a lot more difficult than people would think. Students get excited to finally move out, but then later become homesick.

Moving out can be stressful, especially going into a brand new school with no familiar faces. Everything is different, but it’s the time to get life in order.

While moving out into a college, students have to take control of their life and be more independent. When asked how they achieved this, freshman at Virginia Tech, Alyssa Carr, talks about her idea of how to take control over yourself in college. “You’re just responsible for every little aspect of your life, pretty much. It depends on your parents too, but for me, I’m in charge of my housing and everything in my life. I’m in charge of scheduling my classes, and also academicwise, if you’re absent, your professor isn’t going to notice. You have to go to them and see what you missed,” Carr explains. Students don’t know how good they have it. In high school, teachers will always catch a student up right away because they can see they’re absent. In college in a lecture hall, the professor won’t notice, and they have to find out on their own.

Students who are in college don’t realize how different college is from what they expected. One of the biggest situations to the students was the social aspect. “You can pick any friends you want to, and that’s one of the things that’s really cool about college. If you don’t like someone, you don’t have to talk to them or see them ever,” said freshman at the University of Iowa, Will Meyer. He goes on to explain how in high school, he couldn’t get around seeing people he didn’t like, and that’s what he expected from college. Luckily, he was wrong, and he chooses his friends wisely.

College is a whole different world to students attending high school. It’s the last big step before the real world, and it’s a lot to take in and adapt to, but with enough time and patience, it can be a really good time, according to the alumni who came to speak.