The College Panel included recent graduates from Del Mar:
1) Kyle Bossert, Class of 2016 - Studying Music at University of the Pacific
2) Will Butler, Class of 2017 - Studying Theater Arts/English at Cal State Fresno
3) Murtaza Dalal, Class of 2015 - Studying Computer Science at UC Berkeley
4) Tara Everton, Class of 2017 - Studying Political Science at UC Berkeley
5) Siena Inaba, Class of 2017 - Studying Biology at UC Irvine
6) Rita Manalastas, Class of 2017 - Studying Nursing at Seattle University
7) Alejandro Murcio, Class of 2017 - Studying Physics at UC Berkeley
8) Brian Nguyen, Class of 2017 - Studying at SJSU
9) Chau Pham, Class of 2016 - Studying at UC Berkeley
10) Ruth Rocha, Class of 2017 - Studying Animal Science at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
11) Andres Silva, Class of 2017 - Studying at UCLA
The student panelists presented great information to their fellow Dons, including:
- College moves at a much faster pace than high school; you spend less time in class but you need to be disciplined about spending time studying outside of school. The college/professor might even tell you how many hours you should be studying per unit. Follow that.
- You must be your own advocate when it comes to financial aid or getting answers to your questions. Show up to the office in person. Make your case. Call multiple times. A few students were given erroneous information from one person in an office, and then told the exact opposite the next day by a different person.
- Take as many AP/IB classes as you can. Every IB credit you earn costs much less (or is free) than the equivalent credit in college. Going into college with AP/IB credits gives you a boost in terms of units and enables you to have more choice in college classes. It can also make it easier to graduate in (less than) 4 years or double major.
- On that note, one student reported that as a result of AP Biology, her required biology class in college was much easier than she expected. She was already familiar with much of the material.
- When a professor hands out the syllabus, you MUST read it and note all the dates that papers are due. One student reported that almost half the students in one of his classes neglected to turn in their first paper on time because there were no reminders in class. The syllabus may be the ONLY notification of exams/major assignments.
- The abundance of freedom (choosing not to go to class, do your homework, etc.) makes it easy to fail. If you decide not to show up to lectures (because there is no attendance call home), you will pay the price.
- Turning in late work: common in high school; rarely allowed in college. There are not a multitude of second chances in college.
- You have to take initiative to develop friendships with people. You meet a lot of people in college, but it's easy not to see them again. In high school, your social interactions are built into your day, 5 days a week. In college, you need to reach out and follow up with people.
- In the beginning of your first semester, you may feel like everyone else knows what they're doing except you. This is almost never the case. Everyone is struggling/overwhelmed in some respect.
- Try new things - clubs, intramural sports, a Zumba class.
- Roommates: communicate as much as possible.
Current DM Juniors and Seniors found this information invaluable and helpful as they apply to college and university, explore the schools and programs that are right for them, and understand that college life has its good and challenging times. Students also asked questions to understand how recent graduates afford tuition, if they are working while studying, and how they balance homework, stress and their social lives.
We are thankful to our recent graduates for joining us and sharing their college life experiences. Wishing you continued success, luck and cheer as you strive to excel and have fun!