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College Panel: Class of 2023 Graduates Return to East


All alumni on stage.

Last year’s seniors returned to Wylie East for one last Think College Thursday.

Each year, WEHS counselors host a college panel, inviting former students back to share their college experience with the current senior class.

Seniors listen to panel.

Similar to a daytime talk show, WEHS Counselor Mandy Coers interviewed college freshmen in front of an audience of seniors. As they sat on the stage in the auditorium, Coers asked the alumni about their first semester in college.

“We talk to them all the time about their futures,” Coers said. “It’s nice to have someone in college speak with them.”

With 16 participants, this is the biggest panel yet.

“I think it’s great that the seniors get to hear about college from another kid’s perspective,” Principal Tiffany Doolan said. “The things they [seniors] are doing now are preparing them for the next step.”

Maddie Shavers is studying communications at Texas State University. She said a significant difference between attending college and high school is being in control of yourself.

“All of your choices are your own,” Shavers said. “The freedom is nice, but can be uncomfortable because you have to manage your own time.”

Trey Hallan, who attends Texas Tech University, also offered advice about personal management.

“Learn how to take care of yourself,” Hallan said. “Learn to do laundry. Learn to clean now, before you leave for college.”

Alumni speak to seniors.

Oklahoma State University freshman Kinley Clark is studying animal science and advised the seniors to look for opportunities to enhance their experience.

“Do an internship your senior year to make you stand out,” Clark said. “And it gives you a realistic feel of what that job has to offer.”

To ensure the best experience, Lydia Alemayehu, a freshman at the University of Houston, recommends researching professors when selecting classes.

“I’m on the pre-med track, and I had to take a class that I didn't want to,” Alemayehu said. “I highly recommend you use and pick professors you like.”

College freshman talks to students.

Trinity Singer, a freshman at Harding University, told the seniors to choose the college that is right for them and to think about the community they want to be a part of.

“Consider class size and the kind of place you want to live in,” Singer said. “I wanted a relationship with my professor, so I chose a small school with small classes.”

University of Texas freshman Bella Cloud offered unique advice about scholarships.

“Pick a school you can afford,” Cloud said. “If one school offers you a scholarship, take that offer to the school you really want to go to, and sometimes they will match it.”

Knox Wilson plays baseball at Hardin-Simmons University. When the panel was asked about something they do not like about college, he was the first to respond.

“Community bathrooms -- it's not great to go to the bathroom with 15 people,” Wilson said.

Alum talk to seniors.

Texas Tech Freshman Torrance Thedford told the seniors that relationships still matter in the final semester of their senior year.

“Finish strong, make connections while you can,” Thedford said. “Your teachers are important in high school.”

Collin College freshman Tracy Appiah advised the seniors to enjoy their last semester as high school students.

“Participate in all the things. In the last semester, there are a lot of senior-exclusive things to do -- do them,” Appiah said. “Finish your senior year off with a bang.”

WEHS alum talk to seniors.