WAB Alumni Pass Advice to this Year's Graduates in Visit

WAB Alumni Pass Advice to this Year's Graduates in Visit

The morning of January 8 saw the continuation of a tradition: Each year after returning from winter break, WAB Alumni are invited back for a reunion in the WAB High School, and take part in a candid question and answer session with our senior students. This year, WAB Director, Dr. Courtney Lowe, along with Kun Jiao, WAB's Advancement Officer, and Todd Hutchinson, WAB Grade 12 Level Leader welcomed twenty-two recent WAB graduates for morning tea in the Wild Ginger Café. Former classmates and staff mingled, laughed and shared stories, enjoying the time to catch up once again.

After moving to the HS Amphitheatre, where this year's senior class had assembled, returning alumni introduced themselves and shared a little about their backgrounds. Wasting little time, alumni then took questions from the graduating class, their teachers, and several admin staff in attendance.

Knowing from experience the kinds of things students are likely to need to know, teachers in attendance asked leading questions that they predicted would be of benefit for the audience. Tamara Palmer, who teaches High School art, asked alumni if there were any specific skills that they had wished they had learned before going to college, that would in turn help these soon-to-be graduates. Suggestions returned from the alumni included taking time to learn about budgeting, cooking, and time management, as these are common parts of life that are organized for you when you are in high school and below.

The list of items for which WAB received praise that morning was long. Referring to how students at WAB are able to easily seek out extra help, WAB received praise for its extensive support system, which can assist students with everything from planning course and university selections, exam preparation, and offers countless opportunities for extracurricular activities. As mock exams are coming up soon, several Alumni also mentioned the importance of taking 'the mocks' seriously, and reiterated the value of high performance in the International Diploma Programme (IBDP). Interestingly, several graduates in attendance had received college or university credits for their work in High School!

When asked about taking gap years, a common quandary for soon-to-be graduates, the results were predictably mixed. Several alumni spoke in favor of gap years, while several spoke in against them. In the end, the message was that students need to decide for themselves, as not everyone fits into one type of mold. Likewise, when asked about which types of campuses the alumni preferred, it became evident that that was a very personal decision. Reassuringly, panelists noted that there are a many, many campus styles available, providing options suitable to each student's personality, and offering varying levels of access to convenience or lifestyle options people want.

By the end of the morning, students had their pressing questions answered, and had gathered insight into college life many of them will be introduced to in just a few short months. Staff members in attendance were left with a feeling of pride for the great opportunities and level of preparation WAB affords its students. In short, this tradition proved once again to be a valuable one, and we are already looking forward to next year!