CAMPUS: SCHS alumni reflect on post-graduate life

With many SCHS students planning on attending college after high school, some may experience feelings of fear or worry. Yet according to SCHS alumni currently attending college, these feelings should not overtake the excitement and wonder that comes with the college experience.

Class of 2021 graduate Jema Mae Ranoy is currently a sophomore at University of California, Riverside, double majoring in psychology and neuroscience. Ranoy’s interest in psychology arose in her senior year of highschool when she began taking AP Psychology at SCHS. The idea of college and growing up was initially nerve wracking for her.

“I was afraid,” Ranoy said. “When I was a senior in high school, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. I am getting old?’ It was a lot to take in.”

Now in college, Ranoy has adjusted to the freedom of creating her class schedule. She noted that the biggest advantage is having more focused classes that are relevant to her major.

“Because you have to choose timings, knowing exactly what classes you need for your major, not everything was set for me so I had to be more proactive with how I went about my quarter and school year,” Ranoy said.

Class of 2022 graduate Claire Han is a math major and an aspiring teacher. For Han, math teacher Ji Bae was her inspiration to become a teacher

“In high school, I didn’t worry as much about my future because my main goal was to graduate as I thought a lot about the present,” Han said. “Now that I am in college, I need to pursue certain goals to achieve my dream, which is becoming a teacher. I am more conscious of what goals I have.”

Class of 2022 graduate Blake Levins is currently a freshman at University of Southern California, majoring in international relations and global business. For Levins, AP classes and extracurricular activities prepared him for some aspects of college, yet for the most of it, he had to adapt on his own.

“You just keep on going, keeping that momentum flowing,” Levins said.

In his senior year of high school, Levins took periods one through five, allowing him to start and leave early some days of the week. Levins chose to continue this schedule in college, opting for morning classes, an unpopular choice for many of his peers.

“Some days, I’m done with my classes before my roommates wake up,” Levins said. “It is that serious.”

Ranoy wants students to know that things happen slowly and many aspects of one’s life changes between high school and college. She advises students to live in the moment and not look too far ahead.

“Take it one step at a time,” Ranoy said. “You have to keep in mind that in order to reach these goals, you have to set smaller ones like stepping stones.”

Class of 2022 graduate Kaitlyn Butcher agrees. According to her, college can be new and confusing, but it is a great opportunity for students to learn more about the world.

“You don’t always need to know your next move. Life can throw a lot of curveballs, and that is okay,” Butcher said. “Allow yourself to breathe.”

Butcher currently attends University of California, San Diego. The transition was relatively smooth for her as she spent the summer at San Diego for a transition program.

“I highly recommend going out of your hometown as you gain a worldly perspective,” Butcher said.

Between moving out and adjusting to a new campus, Ranoy noted how the change in her peers can be shocking for many.

“It is more than just your education. It is your environment, the people you surround yourself with and your day-to-day style is completely different than how it used to be,” Ranoy said. “Having the right people around you is so important.”

Halfway through her second year of college, Ranoy looks forward to what the future holds, excited for the journey of growth that is to come.

“I am getting into the feel of what I want to do now and in my future,” Ranoy said. “Before, I saw it as an obligation, but now, I see it as an opportunity to grow in college.”