Alumni Panel Shares College Wisdom With Current Spartans

Jamie Lavigueur
On January 8, our annual Alumni Panel event had current junior and senior Spartans gleaning college wisdom from recent SFHS grads about everything from the application process to how to get involved in campus life.
The alumni, Avery Bonk ‘22 – Drake University; Joe Cibulka ’20 – Loras College; John Gerdeman ’21 – University of Michigan; and Katherine Lemke ’21 – Virginia Tech transferred from Creighton University, shared fantastic insight into what their daily lives in college are like and fielded questions from the students for more than an hour.
The four Spartan grads unanimously agreed that taking advantage of extracurriculars has helped them adjust to the college lifestyle and develop more friendships and that SFHS prepared them well for college. They also realized how robust SFHS writing classes were after working with their peers.
“Our teachers taught us well,” Katherine said.
They added that while the workload is comparable to SFHS’ rigor, the time management and self-discipline required can be an adjustment. Another insight was the importance of building relationships with professors by taking advantage of office hours.
Additional highlights they shared were:
  • Avery: “Learn the importance of time management and setting aside time for homework and studying.”
  • Joe: “Stay on top of your work. Teachers won’t be reminding you of missing assignments or always offering extra credit.”
  • Katherine: “Showing up to class is important – otherwise you start to fall behind.”
  • John: “Nothing is set in stone – there’s always an opportunity to make changes and make new friends.
    • Joe Cibulka ’20, Avery Bonk ‘22, John Gerdeman ’21, and Katherine Lemke ’21 shared their insights at this year's Alumni Panel.

St. Francis High School