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The Columbus School News Portal

The Discoverer

The Columbus School News Portal

The Discoverer

While Facing a Series of Challenges, 2023 Seniors Thrive After High School, and Here’s How.


Ian Dominguez and Emilio Arango, alumni of The Columbus School’s Class of 2023 in Medellín Colombia, reflect on their experiences in their first year of college, illustrating how students excel beyond the confines of high school.

Transitioning smoothly into college life, 2023 high school seniors were able to confront and overcome many challenges in this new stage of life. Despite the hurdles of adapting to a new environment, these students prosper due to multiple factors. The rigorous academic foundation established during their high school years equipped them with essential skills, such as time management and critical thinking, proving invaluable in higher education.

Ian Dominguez, a 2023 TCS graduate studying engineering at the University of Alberta, emphasizes the pivotal role of AP classes in high school in preparing students for college. Nevertheless, he acknowledges facing challenges.

“A challenge in my first year as a college student was managing my hours because I had to choose what to do with my time when to do homework because normally classes give you a long time to get homework done. Because I have to compete for my position in my career, I sacrifice a lot of activities to work endlessly to earn my career choice,” explained Ian Dominguez.

In addition, Ian has adapted his studying habits to succeed in college, recognizing the significant differences. Nevertheless, as he transitioned to college, his high school preparation was useful, it was only somewhat comparable. He revamped his lifestyle to stand a chance against the academic rigor of college.

“Normally, I work all day; I don’t procrastinate anymore, and during the night, I work long hours even after eating dinner, something I wasn’t used to doing. This was an expected change, but it caught me off guard and hit me abruptly,” Dominguez said. Emilio Arango, studying astrophysics at the University of Alberta, faces the challenges of a math-intensive degree with piles of work. Although the workload is significantly greater than in high school, Emilio thrives not only academically but also outside the classroom. He found an exciting hobby to engage in during his off hours.

“I would say that aside from getting to know new people, specifically, I would say learning to snowboard because I’m far in the north, I took the time to learn, and mastering this is an investment that is worth your time, like going snowboarding to different mountains. This is a way where I separate myself from my academic rigor, relax, and enjoy a simple activity,” expressed Emilio Arango.

Emilio highlights the abrupt nature of the senior-to-college transition through his personal experience. Despite seniors believing they are prepared for college, even the best students must adapt for success.
“Acting independently is an abrupt transition, but I feel as everyone gets the hang of it, you improve your lifestyle, not only academically but socially as well,” said Arango.
In conclusion, Ian offers current high school students insight on thriving in college, drawing from the experiences of the 2023 seniors.

“For current high school students, I recommend getting used to studying outside of school hours, managing and organizing your time regarding homework because there are so many assignments that if you don’t have a working system, you’ll forget things,” advised Dominguez.