Alumni: Ashley Guan (c/o 2016)

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Alumni: Ashley Guan (c/o 2016)

Ashley at UNO, wearing her UNO shirt

Ashley at UNO, wearing her UNO shirt

Ashley at UNO, wearing her UNO shirt

Ashley at UNO, wearing her UNO shirt

Lina Lin

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What year did you graduate from Grace King?


Which college are you attending?

“University of New Orleans.”

Are you currently working a part-time job?

“Yes, I’m working at Little Red Schoolhouse as an assistant teacher.”

Why did you choose this college?

“UNO has a great program for education study, and I didn’t want to move away from home. It was also affordable.”

What are you majoring in?

“Secondary English education with a film and production minor.”

What is college like? Is it different from what you imagined back in high school?

“I’m not too sure. I didn’t daydream how college would be like in high school for some reason. However, college is very independent and stressful lol. I’ve learned so much in my classes though. Going to UNO, I don’t have your typical college experience with a dorm and huge lecture classes in an auditorium with 500 students. The class ratio is probably 1:30, so it feels like a regular high school class- besides the fact that in high school, you are given hands-on work, but in college, you listen to your professor’s lecture the entire time. I did think that professors weren’t going to care, but they actually do grade your grades and notice you. They will offer office hours to help you.”

What is the biggest difference between college and high school?

“The rules are completely different. You are more independent and don’t have to have a hall pass to use a restroom. You can pretty much eat and text in class, but it’s up to you if you want to miss out on a lecture. Professors give you a list or syllabus in the beginning of the year with due dates and will pretty much not remind you or talk about the assignment until the due date, so you really have to keep up with things in college, manage time, and invest in an agenda!!!”

What is your favorite place to study or just to relax?

“Usually in a coffee shop by myself or in one of the study rooms provided in the library at UNO.”

Which class is your favorite/coolest?

“My education courses about teaching are very interesting and my favorites.”

Are you classes lecture-based or discussion-based?

“A good, fair, and even amount of both. Depending on the subject and how deep you get into your major, there will be more discussion-based.

What is something you have on your college campus that you would have liked on high school campus?

“For sure food court, but educationally tutoring for each subject. There’s a center if you need help with math or science specifically. There’s even a writing center at UNO. The writing center is a great place where graduate students go over your essays and help you improve your papers.”

What is a typical day as a college student like?

“Very chill and independent. Attend class and go home right after.”

Do you live on or off campus?

“I live off campus.”

Have you thought about joining a club? If so, which ones?

“I tried a lot of clubs my first year but got very drained. It wasn’t the same in high school, to be an “overachiever” because college work is extremely hard and time consuming. I am currently in UNO VASA (Vietnamese Student Association) where we get together and do fundraisers for charity and fun events. I tried student council and newspaper.”

Is there a lot of clubs? If so, can you name some?

“UNO has a lot of clubs to offer such as LASA, sororities (lol), sports, swimming, basketball, service correlation, poetry club, debate club,etc.”

What is your favorite and least favorite thing about your college?

“My favorite thing is that you can schedule your classes to fit your schedule with work. You also have a choice to choose night courses or earlier courses. You can schedule your classes if you want to go to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays only or Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. You don’t have to go to school everyday!”

“My least favorite thing is that if you skip one day, then you’re doomed and behind 70 chapters.”

What do you miss about Grace King?

“I miss being on a spirited and live campus. People at UNO go to class(es) and go home. No one really gathers for lunch together unless you’re lucky and have the same break as your friends. Sport events aren’t the same, and being in clubs is way too hard to keep up with in college.”

What did you not learn from Grace King that would of helped you on your current path?

“Reality. We spend so much class time preparing for the ACT and AP exams and how to get into college. I wish there was a course on adulting. I don’t have parents that speak English to be able to teach me these things. I didn’t have a great time management schedule or knew how to actually study. I was very disorganized my first year, and college hit me hard. It wasn’t like high school where I could skip everyday, not study, and still pass. I didn’t know how to budget or build up credit, and it ruined me for college because tuition and textbooks (that I’m paying out of pockets for) are expensive.”

Is there something from Grace King that you will always remember?

“The teachers and memories. It was a school I enjoyed going to because it was so fun, but in college, it sucks.”

Is there something that happened during your high school life in general?

“Depression. In all 4 years of high school, I did suffer with depression, and it was a difficult thing to go through. It wasn’t until I graduated that I got out of that, but Grace King, the positive environment, and my classmates really helped me during a hard time in life.”

What do you think Grace King should improve on?

“Classes that prepare you for college.”

How well do you think Grace King prepared you for college?

“Honestly, not really.”

Do you plan to stay or leave the New Orleans area? If leaving, where are you planning to move to?

“I plan on staying in the New Orleans area unless a dramatically amazing career opportunity was to pop up..”

Do you have any advice for students whom are unsure what to do after graduation or feel indifferent about college?

Save your money!! Do not stress about the little things because I promise they don’t matter. The drama never matters, and the heartbreaks aren’t worth it. Don’t get distracted in high school because growing up isn’t a joke!! I promise I thought high school was the end of the world, but these bills are no joke. Also deciding what you want to do for a career aka rest of your life is stressful. Your problems seem so little when you graduate, and you realize the things you were worried about in high school really didn’t matter. One thing I wish is that I should of taken advice from someone who graduated and been through it already. I heard the same thing over and over again about not talking to your high school friends after high school or that my problems will seem easy after I graduated, but I felt like they didn’t understand what I was going through. Now that I’m on the other side, I can not stress how right they were and wish younger classmen would be believe me now when I say that reality hits you in college. Your perspective will change: who you hang out with, how you treat your teachers, how you spend your money and how thankful you are for things. You will start realizing what’s best for you at the end of the day and mature a lot after high school.

Were you in any clubs during your time at King? If yes, what were they?

“2 years in Grace King Kolleens, 2 years in student council, 1 year in cross country, 1 year in wrestling, 1 year in academic games…I think more, but I honestly don’t remember.”