NYA Juniors Begin the College Search with Help from Alumni

Turning the calendar to a new year often brings resolutions and new goals for the future. Be a better person, exercise more, and eat healthier amongst the top. On the first day back from winter break, North Yarmouth Academy (NYA) juniors added “begin the college search process” to the mix at the College Kickoff For Juniors. This annual event, headed by college counselors Steve and Katherine Thomas, introduced the class of 2018 to the first steps along the college search path.

Steve and Katherine offered guidance from their years of expertise, but the best advice may have come from the panel of recent NYA alumni who returned to campus to provide their own guidance to their former schoolmates. Over a dozen NYA alumni, who graduated within the past two years, shared their experiences with the college search and application process with the juniors, who are just starting the process themselves. This was a valuable opportunity to learn from recent NYA students who navigated the college search process during the last couple of years. “The College Kickoff was a great way to get started with the very exciting, and slightly dreaded, college search process,” said NYA junior Rick Hilscher (Boothbay Harbor). “It was certainly interesting to hear from the alumni [about] what they wished they knew when they were applying, like the importance of a good meal plan. It also calmed some of my nerves to hear that, after graduating from NYA, the alumni were ready to handle the course load of college.”

The stories from alumni also resonated with NYA junior Rachel Bolling (Casco), “Before the kickoff, I was nervous that I was behind most other juniors because I’ve never been to a college campus or even looked at a college online. After listening to the alumni, I feel more comfortable knowing how well NYA prepares students for college.”

“While there was plenty of positive feedback to share,” said NYA College Counseling Director Katherine Thomas, “I thought it was particularly helpful to the juniors to hear honestly that unexpected things do sometimes occur, and it’s how you handle it that is most important. All of the alums emphasized how well they felt NYA prepared them for the next set of challenges they faced in college.”

The College Kickoff for Juniors is just one of many programs in place for NYA Upper School students and their parents as they navigate the college search process. The next event coming up is College Planning Night for juniors and their parents on January 23. This program will feature guest speaker Gail Berson, Dean of Admission at Mount Holyoke College, and is designed to help juniors and their parents better understand what to expect in the next year as the college search and application process unfolds.

North Yarmouth Academy is an independent, college preparatory, coeducational school for toddlers to students in grade twelve. Since 1814, NYA has fostered integrity, character, and intellect in its students. For more information, please contact NYA at 207-847-5423 or visit our website at nya.org.