How to make it through your freshmen year of college

Howler grads of 2016 weigh in after finals

Jillian Kerzner

Jillian Kerzner

As graduation quickly approaches the Class of 2017, excitement is at an all-time high. The senior class will walk the halls of Wakefield for one last time before beginning their journey into the independence that comes with adult years. Personally though, The Howler staff will lose eleven staff members, who will all begin a new journey in college– so previous staff members offered advice to help in the transition from high school to college.

Even though many graduating seniors wish to get away from Wakefield, past graduates advise students to remember their times here and not to blow off their high school years, including Juliana Merzigian, previous Student Life Editor and a student at East Carolina University.

“When I was at Wakefield I couldn’t wait to get out and move on,” Merzigian said. “But now that I am gone, I really do miss it! I made so many friendships and memories that I still look back on and think about how much I miss being at Wakefield. I also had amazing teachers and classmates that I loved seeing everyday. I miss the school spirit because although my college has a lot of school spirit, there are so many people so being a part of the student sections at Wakefield were a lot more intimate. I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else for high school other than Wakefield.”

Specific classes always have a place in some student’s hearts, so past Howler Staff members regard their newspaper class memories highly. Kate Meikle, former Copy Editor and a student at NC State, reflected on her experience with The Howler.

“I miss being able to tackle a different story every couple weeks because it truly taught me a lot about what went on in our community,” Meikle said. “I also really enjoyed class discussion and collaboration because everyone was able to bring their own unique qualities to the paper.”

Yasine Mirmozaffari

Previous staff members, Laurie Diggett, a student at Meredith and Yasine Mirmozaffari, a student at UNC Wilmington, offered up their knowledge to advise seniors on their new journey. Also, previous Editor-in-Chief Hannah Chaya, a student at NC State, and former Copy-Editor Jillian Kerzner, a student at UNC Chapel Hill, also informed graduating seniors on advice based on their experiences.

Laurie Diggett

“Do what you’re passionate about and don’t stop dreaming. There are going to be tough, stressful times ahead but you just have to keep pushing for that overall goal,” Diggett said. “Don’t spend all of your time chasing success, however, or you might miss everything that’s in front of you. My freshman year at Meredith is already over and I feel like I just moved in yesterday. Soak up every minute with the co-workers or college friends you make because it all goes by so fast.”

Agreeing with Diggett, Mirmozaffari gave advice dealing with success and time.

“Don’t hope to grow up too fast, take everything in as you go through life,” Mirmozaffari said. “Strive for the best but don’t worry if you’re not there yet. You’re only young once so don’t rush growing up.”

Kerzner informs seniors that high school is just the beginning and that they have a long experience in front of them.

“Graduating high school is only the beginning of a difficult, amazingly fun, and very rewarding experience that college is,” Kerzner said.

Chaya gives her wish for luck and other advice for seniors who are about to embark on a new, exciting, and important journey of their lives.

Hannah Chaya

“I have a couple pieces of advice,” Chaya said. “First, take the AP exams. Even if you don’t feel confident in the material, take the exam. You know more than you think you know and, believe me, placing out of any college level class is worth it. Second, regardless of what college you go to–whether it’s an ivy league, a community college or somewhere in between–never underestimate the value of a higher education. It doesn’t matter what college you go to, what matters is what you learn there and how you grow there. Best of luck to all of you graduates and hats off to you all, you guys made it!”