Recent grads offer advice to newest

Photo by Rebecca Isenhart

BY REBECCA ISENHART
Gazette Reporter

NISKAYUNA — The evening of Thursday, June 25 saw a fresh batch of Niskayuna High School graduates march proudly across the Proctors stage in their silver and red gowns.

Many will soon head off to college, away from home for the first time. To guide their transition, we asked three Niskayuna alumni who recently completed their freshman years at college to give the advice they wish they had received before they tossed their caps in 2014.


 

 

Andrew Stewart

Andrew Stewart

Andrew Stewart

School: UBuffalo

Major: Medicinal Chemistry

Minor: English

Q: In hindsight, what’s the best advice you got before leaving for college?

A: I would say that probably … probably the best advice I got was that when you get to college it’s going to be like a train, and you’re holding on the outside of the train and it’s going really fast. You have to hold on… unless you don’t like where that train’s going and then you have to find another train.

Q: What surprised you most about your freshman year of college?

A: Probably how much it sucks to do laundry in a public place. Laundry at home is whatever. Laundry at school is pretty terrible.

Q: What do you want to tell the graduating class of 2015?

A: Do what makes you happy. That’s my new thing that I’m working on.

Bianca Viscusi

Bianca Viscusi

Bianca Viscusi

School: Cornell University.

Majors: Industrial and Labor Relations/Spanish

Q: In hindsight, what’s the best advice you got before starting college?

A: At Cornell’s orientation, famous alum Dave Price gave some great advice that stayed with me: to be a “friend collector,” open to becoming friends with people who may not be like you. Many of those friends will become a lifelong support network, there with you in good times and bad.

Q: What surprised you most about your freshman year of college?

A: How quickly I acclimated. My first year at Cornell was amazing. I love the campus and the academic offerings. It’s a beautiful school. I’ve met so many new friends from all over the world. I did well, and made the dean’s list both semesters. I also got involved in many extracurricular activities, including student government and the orientation committee, among others.

Q: What do you want to tell the graduating class of 2015?

A: I would recommend that students maintain the same work ethic they had — well, assuming it was a good one — and strive to do your best and not get discouraged. I’d also suggest that you not be hesitant to introduce yourself to people. All freshmen are in the same situation. They’re in a new place and don’t know anyone. Most people will be glad that you reached out to them.

Mia DiRienzo

Mia DiRienzo

Mia DiRienzo

School: Union College

Major: Managerial Economics

Q: In hindsight, what’s the best advice you got before starting college?

A: The best advice I got before leaving for college was to go in super open-minded about my roommate. My roommate is actually my best friend at school, and I’m so glad everything worked out. Even if your roommate isn’t your best friend, just be considerate.

Q: What surprised you most about your freshman year of college?

A: It was actually very surprising to see how many people did not go to class. Go to class! Even when there’s a blizzard, or you’re tired, or it’s raining. I have found that most of the material on tests is from in-class discussions. It’s not enough to just read the textbook. Also, that’s what you’re paying for and it is totally worth it.

Q: What do you want to tell the graduating class of 2015?

A: I would tell the class of 2015 to set up a time to talk to your family at least once a week, like give them a call or FaceTime every Sunday. They miss you and they want to hear all about the fun things you’re up to! Also, yes, your sheets can go in the washing machine and dryer sheets are not optional! And that little filter needs to get cleaned out. My dorm learned the hard way… a dryer caught on fire!

About the Author

Rebecca Isenhart
Rebecca Isenhart is the reporter/writer for Your Niskayuna, presented by the Daily Gazette of Schenectady.