Alumni Offer Advice to Current CHS Students

Alum Elizabeth Campbell when she was a CHS student. Pictured at a news station, during mulch sales at CHS and on a San Francisco journalism trip.

Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Campbell

Alum Elizabeth Campbell when she was a CHS student. Pictured at a news station, during mulch sales at CHS and on a San Francisco journalism trip.

By Eliza Asbury, Business Manager

Once CHS seniors walk out the doors of Constitution Hall, they become alumni, off to begin a new chapter of their lives. Some stick around, while others disappear completely. ‘The Observer” has taken upon ourselves to track down some of the names from the dustiest yearbooks to answer the question, “Where are they now?” and “What is life like after high school?”

Because college is such an important transition and a whole new stage of one’s life, preparation is key. Evidently, CHS students are well prepared when it comes to communication and study skills

Thanks to the classes I took and my amazing teachers, special shoutout to Kelly Knarr, Eleanor Goodwin and Rodney Van Tassell, I was more than prepared for my classes at college because I knew how to study, how to analyze information and how to communicate both in writing or through a presentation,” said Elizabeth Campbell,who graduated from CHS in 2014 and is a junior at Texas Christian University. “CHS gave me so many opportunities to use skills in a practical environment, but more importantly to learn time management and interaction skills which have proved remarkably valuable during finals and group projects.”

The transition from high school to college is a big one due to many factors, one being class sizes. For those who went to a larger university, the size of classes and the school can be overwhelming at times. However CHS has the power to make a big school seem smaller, as students join  various clubs and teams. Being a freshman at a big high school can seem intimidating, but CHS knows how to help students adapt to a new and bigger environment.

“I go to the University of Florida with over 40,000 undergraduates,” 2012 alumnus Max Liss said. “It was tough not knowing anyone at first, but joining a fraternity helped me meet some of my best friends today. It also helped create a smaller community within such a large university so things didn’t feel as overwhelming.”

High school can be very important for students’ developmental years, as it’s all about what a student takes away from opportunities given, for example internships or listening to speakers, or even just learning to ask questions. Skills developed in high school can help later on in college and even in real world jobs.

At work I am constantly assigned new tasks and meeting new people,” said Jamie Oppenheimer, 2011 CHS alumnus and University of Virginia 2015 graduate, who is now working as a CPA at Ernst and Young. “Because of CHS I know how to ask the right questions when I am confused, and when to try to attempt solve the problem on my own.”

Maturing from high school to college is natural, as a new environment can be a chance for people to discover a whole part of themselves.

“There’s is not enough space in The Observer to list all the ways I’ve changed since high school, but I think the biggest one is my attitude,” Campbell said. “My attitude has changed in that, in high school, everything seemed like the most important thing at that moment. That test in APUSH was the most important thing, that musical set I was working on was the most important thing, that guy I was dating was the most important thing. I feel like I was stressed all the time because everything I was doing was the most important thing. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved that feeling in high school and I thrived off the stress, but now I find myself prioritizing a lot more in my life.”

Additionally, CHS is known for its high standards for academic courses and high test scores, making it a competitive environment. Having exposure to competition in high school  can make it easier in college and when competing for jobs in the future.

I notice that some of my friends who came from smaller high schools weren’t use to dealing with larger classes or, to be honest, ruder students,” Campbell said. “But my time at CHS prepared me to work hard for every opportunity and know that there are ten other people out there who are going to be trying for the same position as me, or the same grade as me and so on.”

According to Liss, CHS prepared him extremely well and as best as he he could imagine for “the rigors of college.” Additionally, some of the classes he took at CHS were actually more difficult than those took at UF.

Moving on from high school means moving into a  different chapter of one’s life. Most people go to college, leaving behind best friends that they’ve known since kindergarten.

“I do miss high school,” Liss said. “I’ve kept in touch with my closer friends from high school, but it’s weird not seeing people you grew up with and have known since elementary and middle school, not to mention from CHS. I’m looking forward to our first high school reunion.”

Walking down the halls of CHS may seem casual to us now, but in 20 years from now we might miss being able to stop and talk to our friends, even if just for two minutes.