By Nicole Cason '19
1. What was your favorite part of your experience at NCS?
My favorite part of NCS was definitely the tradition of team breakfast (and wearing warm-up shirts etc. around that day). There was just something so special about getting a little extra time to bond with your teammates and really getting to be proud of your team. Game days were a really special part of my high school experience, and I’m so thankful that I got to experience school spirit at an all-girls school. I believe that it was traditions like team breakfast, and wearing your sports clothes to school that also motivated the rest of the student body to support their peers. Some of my best NCS memories are from homecoming or championship games where I got to cheer on my friends, or watch them cheer me on. My next favorite experience was the senior room. I believe there is a direction correlation between how much we bonded as a senior class, and the privilege of getting to hang out in there. I am so thankful I had such a space to spend my last year at NCS hanging out, or eating, with my best friends.
2. How has your college experience differed from your experience at NCS? What surprised you about college?
College is a lot different than NCS in that you have so much free time. At NCS, every second of our day was filled, from class to class meetings to cathedral, clubs, sports etc. I felt like I could never truly take a break. In college, no one really cares what you do with your free time; its up to YOU to fill it. That was an unexpected amount of responsibility that I had to deal with. I also pictured college as just being harder than high school, so I never imagined that I would have too much free time. While I wouldn’t say NCS “holds your hand”, college is a lot different in that you’re expected to plan everything yourself. You have to make your schedule, plan out your own papers, and seek out teachers for help yourself. NCS was such a small school that it was relatively easy and comfortable to seek out help, and someone was always looking out for you. That’s not the case in most colleges. This didn’t surprise me, per se, but it was definitely a bigger change than I expected. In the first few months of college, it’s hard to truly grasp that you’re kind-of on your own.
3. Do you feel like NCS adequately prepared you for college? If so, in what ways?
I feel like NCS prepared me for college in my soft skills, more so than hard skills. I went into NCS a shy middle schooler and I came out a confident, outspoken woman. I learned that it’s okay to have an opinion, to speak up in class, and to take charge of a group, project, team, etc. I definitely think these skills are a direct result from the NCS experience (small, all-girls school). I have seen that I’m the more confident and “leader” type person in most group settings in college. However, I don’t think NCS prepared me well to be a STEM major. I feel behind my peers in areas of mathematical critical thinking, and the ability to teach myself processes. I feel like at NCS we were just given a method (in math or science) and then told how to do [a problem], and quizzed on [the material] shortly after. At least at my college, [the material is] taught very differently. We only have two or three tests a semester, and we aren’t ever told “this is how you do this.” Instead we’re given examples, and then we are expected to infer how to do the next problem.