College Life ’16

Picture of a college dorm. Photo credit: Steven Perez

By Jackie Martinez ’18 and Lisbeth Valentin ’18

College is an adventurous obstacle. It’s the place you start to discover yourself as humans. A college schedule is extremely different than a high school schedule. You are the one that controls your timing, there is no bell to guide you. You control yourself. You need to be highly proactive if you want to be successful in all your classes.

Imagine yourself at a large building that is hundreds of miles of away from your sweet home. You are surrounded by thousands of people from different ethnicities. The classroom is a gigantic auditorium and you feel your anxiety raise up through the roof. You feel your hands getting sweaty and your heart is beating fast like a drum. Honestly,  college may seem difficult, but it is your ticket to have a better opportunities in life. If you don’t take it seriously you might not be able to have better opportunities that life has to offer. To investigate how the college life is going for Pritzker former seniors, class of 2016,  we conducted interviews with the now college freshman. Majority of them were anxious to share out their experiences of college. Steven Perez, a graduate of 2016 and a freshman at Illinois State University, stated,  “college is such a fun experience, you get to find out your inner self. You get to meet new people and create positive connections around you.”  It is, of course,  typical to build new friendships in college. You need to be outgoing and kind to the people around you. Perhaps, making new friends can keep your mind off home which will  help get rid of the home sick feeling you will start to get.

Perez was asked if he had any advice toward the Juniors of Pritzker College Prep. He politely responded, “Yes! To please take the ACT very serious. Your score is your path to which college you will go to. Work hard to reach your goal. Do not give up and give it your best shot.” The reason why Perez is serious about this topic is because he had seen students in his high school classes that were high class rank, but had a low ACT score. That caused the students to not go to the college of their dreams. Perez is the first of his siblings to go to college. He believes he is setting a positive example for his two younger siblings.

College is very expensive. Many do not get to experience this situation because of financial issues. It is important to work hard to increasing your ACT score, get a higher GPA, do all of your community service, and get all of enrichment credit. If you need help with anything college related ask your advisor or any college counselor in high school,  rather be safe than sorry. In his first few days of college, Perez explained that he was scared and homesick, but then he adapted quickly to the community with the help of his friends and felt like home.

Adrian Hernandez, freshman attending The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was excited to be entering college, as a new experience stating, “I was very excited to be in a new place, and I was even more excited when I managed to place a spot in the Marching Illini, something, sadly, Pritzker doesn’t provide.”

Family members get sad when their children go off to college, but for Hernandez it was different since his older brother already attended college Hernandez stated, “Many of my family members told me there are colleges in Chicago why not go to one of them here or are you sure you want to go to college. ”  

Hernandez had already set his mind in going to college. His family was understandable towards his feelings and decisions when it came to school.

There are many things to enjoy in college such as meeting new people and becoming close friends,  making new hobbies, and of course doing all your homework. Hernandez is enjoying the food he stated, “I am enjoying the food in college a lot, the recreation center, that is just right next to my dorm, shoutout to Driessen for giving me exercises, and most importantly the Marching Band.”

Every person, no matter the situation, has a fear of to something Hernandez is no exception he stated, “My biggest fear as a college student is not making it in time to one of my exams. My midterm exams are right after my marching band rehearsal, so I kind of had to bolt out of practice to make it on time.” Good thing Driessen gave him exercises in order for him to get to his exams on time.

As students, we believe that Pritzker classes are too difficult and useless for our future reference. Many believe we will probably not need all this information in the future, but Hernandez believes the opposite. Hernandez mentioned that taking a few AP courses or many Honor courses are going to help you because you are able to understand more of the material that is covered in class.

Ever wonder if high-school and college will have similarities? Well Hernandez thinks that college is just high-school, but bigger and you have more freedom.

As Juniors and Seniors we are closer and closer to entering college we are worried of not getting in the college that we want. Hernandez gave us a quick advice by saying, “my advice for Juniors/Seniors are don’t be intimidated by college, Ivy league’s, Big Ten, Small Liberal Arts, whatever the case may be for you, it really doesn’t get you as much as you think. Yes you may feel the stress in the beginning of it all, but once you get a few weeks into the school, it feels more natural, and you get the flow of things.”

Visual Picture of a college student dorm. PC: Steven Perez