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Linda Mah
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Alumni Advice

Graduates Share Experiences at High School Alumni Days

Kalamazoo Central and Loy Norrix high schools held their annual Alumni Day celebrations on Dec. 21. Recent graduates were invited back to the schools to share their best advice for making the most of high school and succeeding at college. About 100 alumni visited each school. Here is some of the advice graduates offered to current students.


Jackson Couch

Class of 2018

Kalamazoo Valley Community College, fire science

The best advice heading into college is that you need to check out as many colleges as you can. All things need to be considered when you’re looking at colleges: your price, the distance, the things you can do there. I was pretty ignorant about how I went through colleges and decided where I wanted to go. The biggest advice is to vet out the places you’re considering.

Morgan McCue

Class of 2017

Michigan State University, interdisciplinary studies

I went through a period where I was going to be a veterinarian. Just recently, I thought I don’t know that I want to spend 10 years of my life to go for something I’m not sure I’m passionate about. My advice would be don’t be afraid to switch your majors. Even if your goal was to be something or to follow a career path, don’t be afraid to switch it up if you don’t find enjoyment in it. Really look back at what you enjoy and follow that dream.

Luis Lara

Class of 2016

Western Michigan University, travel and tourism and Spanish

College students shouldn’t conform to this cultural thinking that college has to be hard and that you have to be anxious. You have a ridiculous amount of freedom. You can try to keep up the 4.0 GPA, but you get to choose what you want out of college. Don’t get caught up in the stress of it. It’s all about your attitude, how you react to the work you’re given, the freedom, and the responsibilities. I want to graduate within four years, but I want to have a good time while I’m there.

Cornez Bell

Class of 2018

Western Michigan University, sales and business marketing

You’re officially on your own. It’s more difficult to stay on top of everything. The biggest thing to take care of is time management. If you don’t have time management, then you won’t survive college. As long as you have good time management, things will be a breeze for you. I just made the dean’s list my first semester, and time management is what got me through. The thing I see almost every college student with is a big planner.

Champagne Bennett

Class of 2015

Michigan State University, finance and pre-law

My best advice would be to know that everything is worth it. Everything is going to seem hard in the beginning, but definitely know that what you’re doing will have a greater outcome. Just know you have a purpose. You’re going to do something greater than what you’re doing now. The outcome is bigger than anything you can imagine.


Husain Kasem

Class of 2017

Western Michigan University, computer science

My advice for seniors and college freshmen is to take it easy a little bit and not stress too much about things. Grow up as well and enjoy the experience of high school, because you will miss it to an extent. Grow up and mature a little bit. Some people, they head into freshman year, and they still have some maturing to do. They’re not taking life seriously.

Felicity Shepherd

Class of 2017

Siena Heights University, child development in education

My best, best advice would be to be yourself, don’t lose yourself, because I did my freshman year. So, be true to yourself. Don’t change yourself just because you want to fit in. It’s just like high school, you want to fit in. When you get to college, there are older people and you want to be like them. Take your time and don’t grow up too fast.

Jordyn Boggan

Class of 2017

University of Michigan, gender and health studies

Always stay motivated and never give up. There is a lot of stress that comes with school and classes. College is a lot harder than high school, and you’re on your own. You don’t have somebody in your ear telling you to do stuff and making sure you’re doing your work and turning your work in on time. It’s all on your own. You have to keep yourself up and motivated

Devin Ziegler

Class of 2016

Michigan State University, actuarial science

Really study and be able to adapt your study habits. College is more about studying than anything else. You can go to lectures and class and all of that, but if you don’t study, nothing can be retained. There’s no one good way to study. It really depends on the person. Do what’s best for you.

Malcolm Jones

Class of 2017

Working for Kalamazoo Township Fire Department and studying at Kalamazoo Valley Community College

The best advice while you’re in high school still is to take advantage of the EFEs and EFAs (Education For Employment and Education For the Arts), where you can basically get an internship in a career field. For example, you can do health careers or teaching careers and it really gives you an idea of what you want to do, so you can actually take off right after high school instead of just doing pre-reqs in college and not necessarily knowing what you want to do.

Josh Hagemann

Class of 2017

Western Michigan University, acting

The work is going to be as hard as you make it. Just do it. Don’t skip out on doing it or that’s going to bite you. It’s really not as hard as you think it is. You’re going to look back on it and think, “Oh that was a piece of cake.” The stuff that stressed me out last year would not stress me out right now. Just do the work. You’ll be OK.

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