Full Name: Mattie MillsHigh School Graduation Year: 2013
College: Southwestern University (with one semester at Philipps-Univeristät Marburg)Major: PsychologyMinor: GermanWhy did you choose to attend Southwestern University?I was looking for a small school in Texas with competitive academics and opportunities to explore things beyond what my major would offer me. Also, my college choice had to be in Texas because of financial reasons and I wanted to go to a college in a big city. Although my small college in a big city plans didn't entirely work out, I have learned that there is a lot to do in Georgetown. The programs at Southwestern ended up being exactly what I needed and what I wanted to do. On the tour it was made clear to me that Southwestern’s student body is very active and engaged. The energy, engagement, and friendliness on the campus definitely had an impact on my decision. As an added bonus, the food in Georgetown is seriously amazing!From your experience, what are some attributes of individuals who are most successful in your major?For any school and any major it is important to have passion and drive for what you are doing. I don't think I would have been able to get where I am in college now without really wanting it. College will challenge you in ways you don't even know. It is terrifying but also indescribably rewarding. I have been pushed to what I believed to be my limit, only to discover that I can do so much more.What Words of Wisdom would you like to tell your fellow CVHS students?Try not to get emotionally attached to a school until all the details (like financial aid) are finalized. Apply early! You will appreciate getting the school's decision back early. Get in contact with professors in your field of interest; they will help you better understand the program and it will show that you are really interested in that school. Take campus tours! Once you know where you are going and you have confirmed your attendance, fill out the housing app ASAP. Try to study abroad; it is so worth it. Take comfort in the fact that when you look back you probably will not remember what your ACT/SAT scores were, and you will wonder what you were ever worried about.
Did Carnegie prepare you to become a college-ready student? Why?It definitely did. As you all know, Carnegie is very challenging and the work load is immense. I took seven AP classes my senior year so it was amazing to only take 4 classes my first semester in college. Carnegie definitely made my first year in college easier and therefore, I was able to focus on meeting people, making friends, and getting established on campus. Of course, college does get a lot harder. Carnegie's academic rigor definitely helped me prepare for this challenge.
Full Name: Sabrina Katz
High School Graduation Year: 2013
College: Boston University
Major: AdvertisingMinor: French
Why did you choose to attend Boston University? I knew for a while that I didn't want to stay in Texas for university. I felt like going somewhere like Boston, a great town filled with culture and students like myself. I felt like this would broaden my perspective and allow me to thrive.
Can you share your thoughts on how to best prepare for college? Colleges are looking for people who stand out, whether that means having a fun hobby, running a successful YouTube channel, or doing an internship in your field. I genuinely believe that doing the Houston Chronicle internship my senior year is what helped me stand out and allowed me to get into the colleges I applied for.
What Words of Wisdom would you like to tell your fellow CVHS students? Another piece of advice I would like to give is to be open-minded, and not just in terms of trying new things. When you hear someone's opinion about something, or you find out why a person does something a certain way, don't immediately close yourself off to what they have to say. I have learned so much outside of the classroom, from new friends and colleagues, just by my willingness to hear new perspectives. You should understand that people grew up in different places and have different views, and you don't have to be mad at them or try to convince them that they're wrong. Just be empathetic and try to understand where they are coming from - you'll be so grateful from how much they teach you!
What do you wish you would have known before your first day of college? This is mainly geared towards students who do work-study, but can apply to anyone: try to get a work-study job that's in your career field! For the first few months of school, my work-study included delivering packages from one side of campus to the other, and while it wasn't difficult, I felt like I wasn't getting anywhere. That's why I was so excited when I got accepted as a work-study marketing intern for the Huntington Theatre Company! Even if you already have a job now, if it is not going to help you get jobs later in life, try to look for one that is more geared to your career choice.
Anything else? No matter where you go to college, do the thing that makes you HAPPY. You will attract friends that share similar interests as you, whether than means you like to cook, take photographs, sing, exercise, or anything else! Last semester, my roommate and I started a vegan, zero-waste blog where we post our adventures in trying to reduce consumption and plastic use. We composted the entire semester, made our own hair products, and bought most of our food in bulk. Doing all of this, though it was a bit tough at times, made me realize that everything you do affects you and the world around you, which is why I want to work for a company that aims to reduce food waste around the world.
Full Name: Gisele Phalo
High School Graduation Year: 2013
College: Dartmouth College
Why did you choose to attend Dartmouth College?
I chose to attend Dartmouth College because I had never been to New Hampshire. I knew it was going to be a very new, fun, and challenging experience for me. I believed that after working hard for most of my life in the south, it would be interesting to go up north and get a new perspective on things.
What do you wish you would have known before your first day of college?
I wish I would have known that you do not necessarily have to be best friends with your roommate. It’s nice if you do become friends; if you don’t, it’s no big deal.
What Words of Wisdom would you like to tell your fellow CVHS students?
Make as many mistakes as possible!
Why did you choose to attend Carnegie Vanguard?
My 7th grade Texas History teacher convinced me to go to Carnegie when she told me, “Gisele, you’re quirky and unique! That’s how Carnegie kids are. That’s the place for you.”
What did you learn at CVHS that is most applicable as a college student?
I learned how to ask for help from people beyond an academic setting. In other words, I was not hesitant to reach out to organizations about help I needed with personal things, such as paying for textbooks or even a plane ticket home.