4-3-2-1: Advice from Alumni

3. Christine Mah – Junior at Seattle University was asked:

  • How do you manage stress and workload in college? (Any methods or tools?)

I’m not great at prioritizing self-care, which I think incoming college students should try to figure out now. My self-care strategy is finding one thing to look forward to each week, whether that be sleeping in or watching a movie with my family. Little rewards have pushed me through some brutal weeks. Being mindful of good things has been seminal to my mental health and stress management.

  • Are there any stories or moments that speak to your college experiences?

No particular moment comes to mind. Rather, I’d define my college experience through the mundane: smiling at people in my cohort, laughing with a student I tutor, eating lunch with my friends. I spent freshman year of college on Zoom, not knowing who anyone was, and I worried things would always feel that lonely. It’s comforting, realizing how much love I’ve experienced that I never planned for. As corny as it is, the people you surround yourself with really do shape the college experience.


  1. Diego Garcia-Camargo – Sophomore at Stanford University was asked:
  • How does college compare to prep?


College is more demanding than Prep, no question. In most ways, though you will be well prepared. It usually takes 2-3 months to get used to the idea of being in a new place with new friends and a new schedule. It’s ok for that to be hard on you, it’s hard on everyone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and make sure you call your parents!

  • Any tips for future prep students making a college application?

Be honest! Be yourself! Write about your deepest values and desires—the person that you are at your core— because that won’t necessarily come through in the other parts of your application. Character, virtue, and passion are things that you have developed in the past 4 years (if you haven’t then you still have some time left!) and they are what matters most.


  1. Hobbs Hegedus – Senior at the University of Washington was asked:
  • Are there any things to ease the adaptation from prep to college?

To help ease the transition I suggest reaching out to others you know, going to the same school as you. If you don’t know anyone, then meet people at orientation or get involved somehow in student life as soon as possible. Establishing a new support/ friend group is essential to feeling welcome and succeeding.

  • How does college compare to prep?

Prep prepared me for college, but the two are dramatically different in some ways. For me, I’ve been in a lot more labs than traditional classes. The only classes I have that are similar to the ones I had at Prep are my core courses like chemistry and calculus. In college you have much more freedom but that also comes with the responsibility of properly managing your own time.