By Ryan Frascella, Conestoga Alum
“Welcome to Temple University! You are now officially Temple Made.” These words from Temple President Neil Theobald at Convocation this fall officially signaled the start to my college career. Was I nervous? Absolutely. It was a new step in my life and even though I know that my parents are only a 45-minute train ride away, the thought of going to live on my own was daunting. The first few weeks of school are tough. College is very different than high school in a few aspects. To start, you are going to school away from home, but also it is time to meet new people who have something in common. I found this to be the most difficult part of adjusting to college life because at a school of over 28,000 people—nearly 14 times the size of Conestoga—there is so much anxiety and pressure early on to meet new people and find a “group”.
Since I am majoring in journalism, I decided to find out more about the various student media outlets on campus. It can’t hurt to get involved to meet new people, right? After various information sessions at each of the different studios, I decided to send an audition tape to the campus radio station, WHIP Radio. You may wonder why I went and joined the radio station after having been on the Good Morning ‘Stoga television broadcast during much of my high school career. The answer is rather simple. There were about 10 people who showed interest in the radio station, as compared to 110 people who wanted to be on air at the TV station. With less competition I saw an opportunity to be on air as a freshman. After meeting with the news director, I was informed that I would be on air every single day anchoring a news radio show. This was a dream come true. As someone who is obsessed with news, I rejoiced at the opportunity to talk about news every single day of the week for an hour. So far, I have interviewed people throughout the City of Philadelphia about issues that relate to Temple University. The best part about this opportunity, is that I wouldn’t be where I am without the training that I received at Conestoga in their TV program. Having all of the knowledge that I do about how to write a news story and how to properly write in broadcast style has been instrumental in my success early on.
Oh yeah. Back to the whole making new friends thing. I now have a “group” of great friends that I have met through various activities here and no longer spend the weekends watching Netflix in my dorm. This part of college is probably one of the most different aspects than anything experienced in high school. For many kids at Conestoga, myself included, some of my best friends all throughout school were people that I had known since elementary or early middle school. Once I got to college it was like hitting a big reset button. All of my best friends are scattered across the country and I am forced to introduce myself to as many people as I meet whether I like it or not, because who knows, they might just be my new best friend.
All of this is not to say that college is the scariest thing that I have ever embarked on in my life, no, college has been one of the best things that I have ever done. There are so many clubs and activities to participate in that it is really easy to forget about the stresses inside the classroom. Conestoga has prepared me so well for college, I can’t even explain it. All of the reading and note taking and presentations that are meticulously graded at the high school level is all preparation for what is to come. I can’t stress enough how important the skills learned in high school have been for me here in college. For all of the seniors out there, good luck making one of the biggest decisions of your lives. For everyone else, enjoy your time in high school because you will miss it once you leave. It took several months of removal from the walls of Conestoga to make me realize how special of a place it actually is. It has also taken me a few months to realize how great a choice I made to come to another special place, Temple University.