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The Chieftain

The Student News Site of Piscataway High School

The Chieftain

The Student News Site of Piscataway High School

The Chieftain

PHS Alumni Offer Helpful Advice about College at Key Club Presentation

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College campus

For many, summer might be a relaxing time to chill by the pool, go to the beach and hang out with friends, but for high school juniors and seniors, it can be a bit of a rollercoaster. Many juniors this summer will be in the middle of the college admissions process and will be asking teachers for their recommendations. Current seniors are dealing with the stress of adjusting to the idea of their new ideal college lifestyle. This time can be stressful for our P-way juniors and seniors, so the PHS Key Club arranged an alumni meeting in the Patton Cafeteria for members who wanted to ease their conscience about anything college related.

Two college students answered questions and provided advice during the meeting, among them one of P-way’s own Connor Dunham (class of 2023) who is attending Clark University in Massachusetts. The other student, Sanjana Malhotra, attended a magnet school in New Jersey and is currently in her senior year at Seton Hall University.

In this meeting, the two students talked to high schoolers about anything college related, answering questions and trying their best to provide peace for those who are stressed out. The first student, Sanjana Malhotra gave guidance on choosing the right college for you, what her daily life on campus is like and more.

When asked about admissions essays and how to choose the right college she responded saying, “write something that’s authentic to you”. She then expanded on this idea saying you shouldn’t try too hard to impress the college and do your research about the colleges you are applying to. Really look into the programs and if you could envision yourself there, don’t just apply to a college just to apply. She also said to apply to a multitude of schools, make sure you have an even balance between safety and reach.

For upcoming college freshman she says “get into things you are interested in”. Be able to get in as many real world experiences as you can at this time of your life, no matter how long you think it will be, college will go by quickly.

Lastly she leaves us with this piece of advice “diversify your experiences”. Get into as many new things as you can, and you might discover something about yourself.

Connor Dunham, a recent P-way graduate, tuned in from Zoom to share some of his knowledge with the Key Club as well. When asked about general advice for high schoolers, he responded “the career center is very helpful” and “talk to counselors”. Counselors are very powerful tools in college admissions and our great counselors at PHS help our students with tasks like this on the daily, so don’t be afraid to reach out.

In regards to homesickness and being away from New Jersey, Dunham says “call you grandparents” and that most colleges offer family weekends where families of students can come to the campus and visit their kids.

Both students also stressed time management and not rushing your admissions essay especially, as it can be the biggest deciding factor in your admissions process.

The main takeaway from the meeting was that although each student who attends college has their own unique journey, it can be helpful to learn from others who have already gone down this path. Due to the success of this presentation, the Key Club will look to hold another presentation next year.

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Reva Gill
Reva Gill, Staff Reporter
Hi! My name is Reva Gill, I am a freshman here at PHS and this is my first year working on the Chieftain. Some of my interests include drawing, painting, and reading. I’m so excited to continue working on the Chieftain!

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