The first short week back to school in 2019 proved to be exciting and full of visitors as the Upper School welcomed back both students and alumni. On Friday, January 4, Creek alumni in college returned “home” to enjoy breakfast catered by SAGE Dining Services and participate in the annual College Panel (jointly hosted by the offices of College Counseling and Alumni). The overarching message from the alumni on the panel was to keep an open mind, know that it is okay to change majors, communicate directly with roommates and professors, and make the most of a college’s location.! During the College Panel, seven alumni from the Classes of 2015-2017 spoke about their experiences with the college application process and answered questions from College Counselor Mrs. Ruth Shrum, giving the current eighth through twelfth grade students some insight into this sometimes daunting process.
Georgetown University senior Ashley Leverrett ’16 focused on her experiences as a Division 1 field hockey player and changing majors early in her collegiate career. The athletic recruitment process itself began during her sophomore year at ICS, as most D1 players sign by the spring of their junior year. When she started at Georgetown, Ashley enrolled as a pre-Med/Biology major, but changed directions slightly by becoming a nursing major. Because she kept an open mind, Ashley is excited about pursuing a career in nursing after she graduates from Georgetown next year.
Riley Walzer ’15, a senior at Skidmore college, also changed majors—from Biology to Studio Art—and is also a Business minor. While at ICS, Ms. Todd’s art classes inspired Riley and pushed him to step out of his comfort zone. As a result of his experiences in visual arts, Riley hopes to pursue an MFA in Studio Art after he graduates this spring.
Meghan Mercer ’17 plays Division 3 field hockey for Roanoke College in the fall, is active in her sorority in the Spring, and takes classes to support her major in Elementary Education all through the year. Meghan decided to play field hockey for the Maroons in the spring of her senior year at ICS and has not looked back since. Meghan’s message to her fellow Creekers was to make sure they use all of the resources—like subject tutoring and writing centers—that their college offers.
Erica Argilan ’17, a sophomore Communications major/Dance and Fine Arts minor at Loyola University of Maryland, spoke about her love of the extracurricular activities available to her at Loyola. She also commented on how her school is so close but actually feels far away because it is in a completely different setting than from where she grew up.
Another member of the Class of 2017, Seamus Drury, discussed his unique experience in ROTC at Purdue University. Since Purdue is very large, Seamus acknowledges that this was an adjustment, especially coming from a small school like ICS. He explained the rigor of his daily schedule as an ROTC cadet as well as the importance of getting to know your professors.
Manhattan College senior Kinesiology major Madison Jennings ’15 discussed how she discovered a new passion—athletic training—during her senior year at ICS, prompting her to change her goals. She had also been inspired by the fun classes offered, like yoga and swimming, in the midst of taking Biophysics and other classes specific to her course of study. Additionally, she spoke about her on-campus job at Manhattan College’s gym. Madison looks forward to pursuing a Master’s degree in Athletic Training after she graduates in May.
Junior Lindsey Register ’16 talked about how, even though she was not accepted into what she thought was her first choice school at the time, she received an email from Fordham University the day before their application deadline, checked out the school based in New York City, and fell in love. As a Communications and Environmental Science double major, Lindsey’s broad range of interests has led her to focusing on how these two areas of study can merge together. Lindsey also had the opportunity to become a Division I athlete and join Fordham’s rowing team, solidifying her message to the audience which was to be open to any and all possibilities.
Members of the panel recommend developing strong study and time management skills while at Indian Creek. Overall, they all agreed that ICS teaches its students how to ask for help and advocate for themselves; these skills are incredibly important in college, and beyond!