Grads Share College Experiences

Grads return

Did you know that there are several perks to be an Overlake Alum?

First, there's the free lunch in our Campus Center and access to the weight room in our gym. However, the most important one is the connections that are made with a unique group of students. 

That's why every year we invite Alumni to return and share their experiences with our Upper School students centered on their lives as college students. "The more that you can self-advocate and reach out and creating a new network is a huge part of what is coming next," Director of College Counseling's Kate Asgari told seniors. "Now is the the time when the more you can do without your parents driving those steps makes them your own and prepares you when you leave for those far away fields."

This year there was more than 20-grads who shared those experiences with some graduating as far back as six years ago. They were broken up into four panel discussion groups focusing on 9th and 10th grade preps, the 11th grade college visits and applications process, and the seniors were split into two groups with one focused on STEM studies and the other on the Humanities and Performing Arts. “I remember last year when I was a senior when someone at Grads Return talked about FOMO (fear of missing out), and that’s really something at Overlake that can be a thing but also at college," says Sam Hirsch ('19). "There’s always going to be something that you can’t do because you’re doing something else and you’re going to have to learn to juggle and I think Overlake really did a great job preparing me for that.”

In turn, students asked several questions from campus life, lifeskill, academics, internships, and preparing for a job. For some it can be a bit overwhelming. While many of the seniors already have their early college decisions made, some continue to wait for decisions or ponder where they'll attend college next fall. "At this point of the process, it's not really learning new stuff as much as re-enforcing that what we've done to this point is right," says David R. ('20). "Listening to a line of panelists with different perspectives made me realize that everyone's path is pretty different."

At the end of the discussions, many grads returned to the Campus Center and enjoyed their free lunch with former teachers and students. And as for those alumni benefits, Will Spencer ('14) says it was a great chance to reconnect with Overlake. "It was meaningful to return to campus and see the new Math and Sciences Center under construction. What an exciting time for Overlake students," says Spencer who graduated from Stanford and now works at Microsoft. "I enjoyed catching up with Gerald Buhaly, Mike Davidson, and Matt Horvat, all of whom were mentors to me throughout my time at Overlake. Likewise, it's special to visit campus and see how Overlake continues to improve under the guidance of the teachers and staff who helped us grow during our time as students."

Thanks to all our grad panelists who shared their experiences with our students! 

Click here to see a slideshow of this year's Grads Return.