13 Alumni Share College Reflections with Students


Thirteen young alumni returned to the Williston Northampton School campus this week to talk with juniors and seniors about the upcoming transition to college. They explained how they made crucial decisions, such as how many schools to visit, and which ones to apply to, as well as how to prepare for the all-important interview and compose the perfect essay.

On campus were:

  • Ellie Scott ’18, Dickinson College ’22
  • Lizzy Cuevas ’18, Providence College ’22
  • Caroline Channel ’18, Haverford College ’22
  • Molly Zawacki ’17, University of Pennsylvania ’21
  • Ava McElhone Yates ’17, Vassar College ’21
  • Chris Espinal ’17, Gettysburg College ’21
  • Couper Gunn ’18, Colby-Sawyer College ’22
  • Ian Ostberg ’18, Quinnipiac University ’22
  • Caitlin Keefe ’17, Trinity College ’21
  • Nate Gordon ’16, Kenyon College ’20
  • Emma Reynolds ’17, Boston College ’21
  • Makenna Hambley ’17, Hobart and William Smith Colleges ’21
  • Anna Harvey ’18, George Washington University ’22

As the panels progressed, they discussed the importance of making sure they have time to socialize and connect while managing a slate of demanding classes and how to find support when responsibilities start to get away from them.

Nate Gordon ’16, a junior at Kenyon College said that in college it’s important to seek out resources—they won’t come to you. “I’m still learning how to make the best use of them,” he said.

Emma Reynolds ’17, who is in her sophomore year at Boston College, encouraged seniors to keep an open mind during the college search process. “What I thought I wanted from college changed a lot. For instance I thought I wanted a small liberal arts school but decided on going to a bigger school and am happy I did.”

Maturity arrives just in time for college, suggested Ian Ostberg ’17 of Quinnipiac University, requiring students to assume a self-starting attitude. “People don’t care about you in the same way [as they did in high school],” he said. “There is less forgiveness from coaches and teachers. But if you work on scheduling your own day and making your own relationships, it’s a satisfying feeling.”

Anna Harvey ’18, a freshman at George Washington University, felt that Williston’s strong academic preparation helped her breeze through work. “Classes were easier than I imagined. They didn’t take up all of my time—a foreign concept for a Williston student.”

Finally, Chris Espinal ’17 shared this sage advice: “Once you go to college, let go of any stereotypes you have about anyone. The worst you can do is go with a bad attitude about having a roommate. Go in with a happy attitude all around.”