ALUMNI DAY by Matthew Nunez

 

On January 6, 2017, last year’s seniors, as well as, graduates from previous years that are now attending college, came back to give some advice about their post high school journey. Their experiences gave us a better understanding of college- from living on campus to interacting with different cultures, older people and professors.  

During the event I gained more knowledge about financial aid as well as student loans.  

There was a panel of around 9 AoIT graduates who came back to share their personal experiences.  

After the event ended, I went to stand with a group of students that had crowded around Nimrod Martinez (“aka Tito”), and listen to what he had to tell us.  Tito was a former AoIT student who played football for the Franklin K. Lane Knights. He was very social and well known amongst the student body.  He had a number of close friends that he still keeps in touch with.  Tito gave us three important tips to follow in order to make a great start at college.  Tito currently attends a college in Florida.

The first piece of advice he gave was to talk with teachers.  One reason this is a good idea, he said, was because it could make our lives easier by providing extra help on a particular subject or extra time on an assignment.  

Tito also talked about living on campus and how a lot of people told him that it wasn’t a good idea to leave NY since Suny colleges are more expensive. However, he told us, one of his goals was to gain experience away from home. His philosophy is that you only live once and that if you want to reach your goal, in the process of pursuing it, you have to be willing to make some risky decisions, even if other people reject those choices.  

Another topic he talked about was about responsibility. Tito explained that becoming an adult  isn’t about turning a certain age, it’s about learning to be independent.  

Leaving your comfort zone and challenging yourself is an essential part of expanding and maneuvering your world.  You have to learn to speak with other individuals in order to feel comfortable on campus as well as learn to accept advice from them that would be helpful.  This made me reflect because, although you never know who can help you, generally, good advice comes from people who have more experience, such as, upperclassmen, and even, professors but only if you make the choice to approach and talk to them.  

I was grateful for the chance to hear what our past AoIT graduates had to say. Nimrod’s message about broadening our social circles and learning to interact outside of the classroom  with people that, normally, we wouldn’t, as well as listening and taking to heart good advice when it’s given, stuck with me.  I intend to keep this knowledge with me, knowing that I'm going to need it soon and that I will be putting it to use, not just once I get to college, but also on my journey to college.  Nimrod’s advice has definitely given me a helpful perspective, but it can also help others to make better decisions as we approach the end of high school.