How to College

“Work smarter, not harder,” advised Bailey Jordan ’20 of Smith College to Falmouth Academy juniors and seniors at Alumni Networking Day, which was held on December 16, 2022. She and six other alumni participated in a “How to College” panel moderated by College Counselor Ruth Slocum.
Taking advantage of all avenues of available support (physical and mental health, academic support, career counseling, office hours, etc.) was a consistent theme running through the panel discussion. Jordan explained that all colleges have plenty of resources to support their students. She told the assembly of students, "Just because someone else may have it worse than you, doesn't mean that those resources aren't meant to help you, too." She went on to say, "If you can use resources to make your life smoother, more power to you." Slocum followed up with some sage advice to find the health center when you first get to campus so that you're not trying to find it with a splitting headache or a broken bone.
The panelists spoke about having so much unstructured time in college, often for the first time. Camden Emery '19 of Champlain College cautioned students to find balance. He said that there is always more one can do academically, so it is important to balance academics with self-care and social time. Josh Novak ’19 of the University of Colorado, Boulder found that he needed to create his own schedule for success. “I got a job so that every day I have to get up because I have something to do. Filling your time makes you more productive.”
"Remember, your professors and staff are people too and will care for you as people as well," said Emery. Whether the issue is academic or personal, the college is full of professionals dedicated to your success, and the key to unlocking that potential is building relationships. Novak urged, "Go to office hours so your professors get to know you." If an issue arises, get help early and send an email immediately.
Panelists acknowledged how well Falmouth Academy prepared them for talking with teachers. They felt comfortable going to office hours, initiating conversation, or asking for help or advice. Hannah Stillman '19 of Amherst College shared how she invited a professor out for coffee to explore the possibility of working in her lab even though she wasn't in her class.
And Maisie Saganic '21 of Northeastern offered this advice, “Keep in touch with the professors you really like even after class is done because you never know when you’ll need that connection.”
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