On Friday, members of the Westridge Classes of 2021 and 2022 joined us on campus for the return of “College Conversations,” an annual event in which our recently graduated class(es) gives advice to current Westridge seniors about the college process and the transition to college.

“During College Conversations, our current seniors can learn from recent graduates who have been exactly where they are,” said Dr. Monique Eguavoen, director of college counseling. “Applying to college is a nuanced process—researching schools; writing resumes, essays, and supplementals; waiting for decisions; and making the choice that impacts the next four years of seniors’ lives. Hearing from others about their successes and surprises during their college journey normalizes the process for our students and gets them even more excited about what comes next.”

The theme of the panels this year was “Now What?” and 20 of Westridge’s most recent graduates spoke about a variety of topics touching on this theme—from their experience applying to colleges and their decision-making process, to their best advice for the Class of 2023 as they look to Commencement in the spring. But their overall message? College is another opportunity to grow, both as a student and a human being.

Above: Alumna Charisma Chen '22

“In my experience, it’s easy to feel pressured to try be a jack of all trades,” said Charisma Chen ’22, a freshman at Harvard. “But it’s important to recognize that everybody is in their own lane and doing their own thing. There’s no need to fall into a culture of competition. Focus on your own journey.”

“If you really want to grow in college,” advised Charlotte Zhang ’22, who attends UC Berkeley, “choose the thing that’s more unfamiliar.”

After the panels, small group discussions organized by collegiate geographical region dove deeper into what it’s like to live and attend school in the various cities to which they matriculated (for example: using public transportation, understanding the culture of their new communities, and adjusting to snowy winters!). Click here to view photos from College Conversations.

Thank you to the Classes of 2021 and 2022 for sharing their experiences, and to the Westridge College Counseling team and Alumnae Office for organizing this event for our seniors.

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