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College Search Process: Alumni Share Insights with Upper School Students

On Tuesday, January 3, Tower Hill alumni returned to speak with current Upper School students about the college admission search and application process. We were joined by Demetrius Murray ’10 (Clemson), Margie Saunders ’11 (Stanford), Noah Chodos ’11 (Columbia), Natasha Qureshi ’11 (Lehigh), Christie Pletz ’11 (Boston College), and Mark Aboff ’11 (Carnegie Mellon), who each spoke in detail about their own experience of applying to college. Such anxiety tends to surround this process – for students and for parents – but students seemed relieved and happy to know that they will be admitted somewhere they enjoy if they are realistic and hardworking in their search.

The former Tower Hill students spoke of the importance of keeping an open mind, starting the Common Application and essay writing early, and how much a campus visit can positively impact a student’s perception of a university and her/his place and fit on campus.

Perhaps the best takeaways of the day came when a teacher asked what younger students should always keep in mind, to which Murray answered, “Relax. You will probably get into the places you want, and no matter where you end up, you can be successful.” To which Saunders added, “Have fun with this. Remember that there are many options and just enjoy yourself in this process.”

Murray is studying Chinese language and international finance at Clemson, having traveled abroad to China with a university program. Both Qureshi and Aboff are first year engineering students, while Pletz has begun the program for the bachelor’s degree and licensing in nursing. Chodos will likely study biochemistry, and Saunders will likely study science as well. They all urged their THS peers to work hard and to take the most challenging courses of which they are capable while in Upper School, grateful for the strong writing background they all took with them to college.