Alumni Share College and Career Advice

Alumni returned to Mt. Hebron on Dec. 21 to discuss their experiences with college, school work, and balancing life. Former students presented in front of classes and answered current students’ questions.

How is college different from high school? Do you like college?

“College is really great. I really love being more in control of my life as a whole. When you go to high school, you have courses that you take every day, and you kind of have a set schedule. With college, it’s more up to you. You may only have one class, and then the rest of the day is up to you. You have to manage your time in a responsible way because you can’t just be goofing off and doing whatever you want. You have to study. So it’s up to you if you want to go to lunch now, if you want to go to the gym now, and if you want to study now. But it’s your decision always.” –Luke DeCray (Penn State University – Finance)

“I love college. I’ve made a lot of new friends, especially since coming in I was in a leadership program called “Lead Scholars.” The weather is great down there.” –Megan Scarbath (University of Central Florida – World Languages Education)

“It’s an experience of change. I really like that there is a lot of independence — a whole lot of freedom — and it’s a lot of fun as well.” –Everett Shirtliff (Towson University – Political Science and Applied Mathematics)

“If you really want to be involved, you want to talk to people. You have to put yourself out there.” –Katie Dillon (UMBC- Computer Sciences)

Do you think Mt. Hebron prepared you for college?

“If you’re taking AP classes, you have a pretty good idea of what the average college course workload is. The difference is you’re taking it over an entire year instead of just a semester, so it is going to be a little faster pace. It’s going to be the same material essentially, but faster paced in college. The other thing is it’s not going to be taught to you like in high school when you go to an AP class. The teacher still teaches you the material you need to know, but in college you go to class and you mostly teach yourself the stuff by reading the book and doing what the professor says you should do outside of class. Then you go to lecture to make sure you have everything straight in your head.” –Luke DeCray

“I feel like Mt. Hebron prepared us very well for college, especially with the course loads and things like that. But it’s a lot of time management that you need to get used to in college when it comes to the workload because people won’t be over your shoulder making sure that you get work done.” –Megan Scarbath

“I felt that Mt. Hebron prepared me for the amount of work I would be getting.” –Katie Dillon

“Both High School and College Education have benefitted me by giving me opportunities I would not have gotten if I did not go to either. High School prepped me for college, and college prepped me for the real world. High School was when I learned how to multitask and prioritize, especially being on different executive boards. This was also when I gained a lot of my leadership skills. College is when you become your own person. Every choice is on you: sink or swim. You’re typically out of your comfort zone, and that’s when exploring and growth come in. College was when I became the person I knew I wanted to be — independent, hardworking, determined, personable. I was constantly challenging myself, attending different events, and being more aware of the world around me. Both stages came with their own challenges, life lessons, and opportunities for self-growth.” — Gayle Geh (Graduated in 2017 from Towson with a degree in Business Administration)

“My high school education was both intellectually and monetarily beneficial in the long run. I took enough AP credits to waive out of nearly all of my freshman courses. Outside of saving a year’s worth of private school tuition, the caliber of the material at Mt. Hebron was so high that I wasn’t deterred by the workload of college classes. To this day, I’ve never taken a class as hard as AP World History.” — Mahila Amjad (Graduated in 2013 from American University with a degree in Economics)

How do you stay on top of your school work?

“I make sure that I prioritize school work and get it done as quickly as possible so that I have choices over what I want to do later in the week.” –Megan Scarbath

“School work and social life — just like everything — it’s a change. I have a daily planner I use to plan out homework, school, classes — all the stuff I need to do. It’s always school before friends with me, so I’ll get all my school work done and whatever free time I have, I get to do whatever. The course load is a lot more work, and time management’s a big key factor. It’s a lot more work, but like anything else in college, you handle it and you adapt.” –Everett Shirtliff

How did your college major help you decide your career path? 

“I based my college major on several things: Would I be good at it? Do I have an interest in it?  My college major helped me decide my career path but showed me where my interest and personality aligned.” — Gayle Geh

“My worldview is shaped by what I learned in my Economics classes. Everything comes down to an allocation of resources, no matter the problem you’re trying to solve. The real benefit to studying economics was how easily I could translate it to any career path.” — Mahila Amjad

What was the transition from college to the working world like?

“The transition from college to the working world was easier than most because I had interned for a few summers. Interning is very important because it gives you an insight into what it would truly be like to work in the field of your choice.” — Gayle Geh

“I am not a fan of traditional education, as my teachers in high school will tell you. I am not made for sitting and book learning. I always strive to simultaneously apply what I learn to the real world, and my favorite part of college was the internships & work studies. For me, the transition into the working world was a breath of fresh air. I started my first job full-time when I was in my last semester of senior year. I was working by day and finishing out the last of my classes in the evenings. I sacrificed my spring break and summer senior year, but I also didn’t have to rush to find jobs after graduations the way most of my friends did.” — Mahila Amjad

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