By Zoé Contreras-Villalta '19
Sophia Triantis ’17, a recent graduate of NCS and current member of Johns Hopkins University Class of ’21, answered some questions for me about the first taste of her college experience and some reflections on her time at the Close.
What is your favorite memory from NCS?
It’s definitely hard to choose one moment, but my favorite memories were just talking with teachers and friends during office hours. The thing that I and most of my friends cherish most now are the people.
What did you least expect about college?
I think it’s really important to keep an open mind about your interests and experiences and take your time finding your place wherever you are. I think I expected a lot of people to come into college with an idea of what they’re doing, but everyone is pretty much in the same boat!
What is an experience every NCS student should have before they graduate?
Definitely make an effort to connect with at least one adult in the NCS community. There are so many outstanding teachers and administrators that can teach you more outside of the classroom than in it, and I am so grateful for them.
Do you think there is something that NCS should have prepared you more for in college?
I wish the NCS culture was more open to failure. I learned a lot working with such high expectations, but it is much easier and much more common to make big mistakes in college that you can grow and learn from.
What's it like not going to a single-sex school after so long?
To be honest it’s not that much different. I’m glad I had the opportunity to grow up surrounded by such strong women but through the coordinate program you still get a decently well rounded experience.
Are there any non-academic tricks you learned on the Close that have helped you in your transition into college?
Oh for SURE. NCS prepares you almost too well to handle independence and a heavy workload, but more than that the most useful skills I took to college from the close include the confidence with which I’m able to engage with others and know myself. NCS really pushes you to be self aware and that was really challenging at times, but it has been so useful especially when being thrown into a completely new environment.
Since going to college, are there things you regret not doing while on the Close?
This is a classic answer, but definitely make an effort to spend time with the people you care about, and push yourself out of your comfort zone to make new relationships too! Some of my favorite memories from second semester senior year were talking to teachers I’d never taken a class with, or just getting to know friends of friends better.
Are you participating in any extracurricular activities now that you wished to continue after graduating NCS?
I tried to take it slow extracurricularly at the beginning of college, but ended up falling into some amazing groups including volunteer tutoring at a local school and acting in some student run theater productions. I’ve also picked up some new activities including joining a design team, where we’re working on an engineering global health project!
Do you still keep in contact with your fellow TRA1LBLA7ERS?
Yes!! Our Facebook group is still active with some updates and discussion but it’s definitely been great to hear about everyone’s different experiences.