Alumni adapt to new experience at the next level


Photo courtesy of Irene Haramis

WCHS graduate Irene Haramis confirms her commitment to Dickinson College in the WCHS gym with support from her coach, Pete McMahon.

By Isabella Ngwana, Internal Communications Manager

Collecting their diplomas and saying goodbye to their high school memories, the WCHS Class of 2022 completed their walk across the stage set in the beloved football stadium. But what truly happens after the whole high school experience? When one gets into their preferred college they often believe that they have complete freedom. Is college a bigger challenge than high school?  Some chose to continue their true passion in life, sports. With the end of high school, some WCHS athletes chose to take the opportunity to play their sports on a more serious level.

Dickinson College student Irene Haramis committed to playing basketball for their Women’s Basketball team. In her freshman and sophomore years, Haramis played a crucial role in helping the team win 46 of the 49 games she played in and two division titles. She made 74 percent of field throws attempted, obtained 71 rebounds, garnered 40 assists, and scored 116 points during the season. 

“The transition from high school to college is definitely a big change. In college, it feels like you have a lot of free time when you don’t. Time management with studies is very important. The first week of school I felt very unprepared, but as time went on I got into  the rhythm of studying, going to class, and working out.” WCHS alumni Irene Haramis said. 

Like many college freshmen, Haramis realized that she was in charge of her own life. She had to push herself into the flow of college before she was completely overwhelmed and would not be able to succeed. In college, there is an expectation to be able to keep up with the fast pace and double the high school workload. Adding sports to the mix taught Haramis how to manage her time better.

“The biggest advice I would give is to not procrastinate on your work,” Haramis said. ”With such a busy schedule, it is important to get your work done in the little free time you have during the week. This has allowed me to feel less stressed and do well in school.” 

WCHS students who participate in a sport either have a passion for it or just want an extracurricular activity that looks good on their transcript. Haramis has an extreme passion for basketball but was not able to share her full potential on the school’s basketball team when she tore her ACL during the 2021-2022 school year.

“ACL tears take just as much mental toughness as physical toughness. Last month I had a mental block where I felt I was never going to get better. However, this injury has taught me hard work pays off as I am officially cleared to play this winter!” Haramis said.

Haramis was given the second chance she needed from the sport. The activity she loved so much pushed her to prove that redemption could be achieved. 

Sports are the driving force at WCHS, with football season being a core part of the high school experience. Many students received offers to play football at the next level, including WCHS alumni Jaden Selby. With such success during his senior season, being one of the new players on the team shifts one’s mentality.

WCHS alumni Jaden Selby committed to the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill after being offered a walk-on position for football. Selby was the quarterback for the WCHS football team and passed for 2,200 yards and 29 touchdowns during his career. Selby was also named all-county offensive player of the year in 2022.

“Going from the best player on my team to just an average player took a little while to get used to. I got used to it because most of the kids on the team are experiencing the same thing.” Selby said. 

College sports are quite the way to knock down one’s self-esteem a couple of notches. Fall camps can be viewed as an excruciating experience for those who aren’t used to the routine. With a loaded training schedule during the summer, Selby found himself learning a lot. 

“Fall camp was an interesting experience. It was two weeks straight and we had to stay in a hotel as a team. We would wake up every day at 6:30 and would be at the football facility until ten at night. It was so tiring and there were four meetings a day that were at least one and a half hours each. It was a fun experience and I got closer to all of my teammates.”

Adjusting to their new lifestyles has been an adventure for these WCHS alumni. Being able to connect with their loved ones has kept them anchored and able to stay true to themselves.

“I always go to my mom for advice. She may not be the most sports-oriented person, but she has always been there for me. Especially through my knee recovery, she has always pushed me to be my best.” Haramis said.