LONG LAKE - On Dec. 22, recent alumni of Long Lake Central School visited their alma-mater to give current high school students an inside-look at what college is really like.
The event was coordinated by guidance director Tisha White, who invited current undergraduate, graduate students and members of the armed services to spend a portion of their holiday break with students at LLCS. This is the second year she has conducted this panel.
Alumni gave current high school students grades nine-12 at LLCS studying advice, warnings about the horrors of roommate selection and a commentary on what college is like for someone who graduated from a small public school, among other things. Long Lake will graduate eight students in 2010.
Visiting alumni included Chelsey Wallace from the University of North Carolina, Jessica Plumley from Sage Colleges, Alexandra Harris from St. Lawrence University, Nicole Andrews from SUNY Potsdam, Alex Olbert from the US Coast Guard, Andy Snide from SUNY Cortland, Alex Smith from St. Lawrence University and David Andrews from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
Smith quoted a LLCS teacher and said, "Work hard and play hard. Find a balance between the two and then separate them."
Some students noted the difficulties that their "small school" may create when starting college, but never failed to acknowledge that they felt well-prepared by LLCS.
"You will get homesick, but there is so much to do. Meet people. You meet people in college you will never have the opportunity to meet in Long Lake," said Wallace.
Olbert acknowledged the availability of sports in college and encouraged students to seek out athletic opportunities.
"Sports are just as big in college as they are in Long lake and it's a way to find people you have things in common with," he said.
White plans to continue the panel each year and she feels that it provides interesting insights for students.
"It has proved to be tremendously helpful. I set them up with questions and they go right in the direction that I want them to," she said. "I could say the same things and the students wouldn't hear me, but coming from their peers it means more."