‘Another Option’ Panel

Leslie Chen, Staff Writer

On Jan. 28, a panel of AHS alumni shared their experience of transferring from a community college to a university. Sponsored by the AHS National Honor Society, the ‘Another Option’ panel was hosted by seniors Erika Tang and Steven Yu. The panelists included Katie Wong, Harrison Ma, Jordan Falasco, Kayla Wong, and Justin Hamilton.

Erika explained the purpose of the event and how it would help students. “My goal with this event is to open up new opportunities and ideas for others who aren’t sure with what they want to do after graduating,” she said. “I [thought this event] would be helpful and maybe shine a new light for some.”

The panelists were asked a series of questions about their time in community college and the process of transferring. “I really liked community college,” Ma said. “You get exposed to different kinds of people, and it’s a great introduction to the real world.” Wong agreed, adding that “the professors … are more focused on their students’ success” than their research.

Aside from sharing their community college experiences, the alumni also gave their thoughts on the pros and cons of transferring. “One of the benefits was that I felt like I learned a lot about myself,” Wong said. “The transfer process definitely gave me time to think about the colleges I wanted to go to and helped me decide what I wanted to do in the future.” Falasco also pointed out how it was beneficial to her financially. “I have a lot of friends who are thousands of dollars in debt. Financially, the burden was much lighter on me and my parents,” she mentioned. However, with pros came the cons. Hamilton commented on how he wished he had “the classic four-year college experience”, which he missed out on by transferring.

The panel concluded with each of the panelists sharing one last piece of advice to students who are considering transferring. “Make sure you utilize all of the resources that are offered, whether it be professors or counselors,” Falasco said. “Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions.” Wong also advised students to stay focused on their goal. “Stay proactive and take the initiative to reach out to people if you need help. Always keep an end goal in mind,” she added. Hamilton kept it simple with a short phrase: “Have fun and enjoy the process.”

Whether you think community college is right for you or not, it certainly gave the panelists another opportunity to get into their dream schools. Life after high school may be scary, but knowing what pathways are out there can ease the stress!