Going into high school, Lynsey Wall was always aware that she would be required to shoulder her own college expenses. “I knew nothing was going to be handed to me, and if I wanted to go to college, I would have to work for it,” she wrote in her ECCU scholarship application essay. With a lot of hard work and dedication, she graduated from Paw Paw High School in 2014 with a 3.8 GPA, a handful of scholarships (including ECCU’s $2,000 Donna vanWestrienen award), and 46 credits at KVCC already under her belt.
This spring, Lynsey will graduate with honors from KVCC with an Associates degree in Pre-Pharmacy and then transfer to a college or university to earn a degree in microbiology. We recently caught up with her, and while we had no doubt she’d still be a hardworking super star (Vice President of Leadership and Service for Phi Theta Kappa, honors student, and slated to speak at KVCC’s winter 2016 commencement – phew!), we were blown away by her response when asked what advice she’d give to incoming high school freshmen who are contemplating college. Because if you really step back and think about it, this advice is great for people of all ages. Case in point:
- Throw yourself into it. “I think my parents (who never attended college) were surprised that I knew how to navigate college so well, but I think it’s because I embraced the learning curve early on and was determined to thrive in any environment. I integrated myself into every aspect of the college community and I learned very quickly how to navigate every department and setting because threw myself into it.”
- Learn to say no. “In high school, and even a year and a half into college, I was in the habit of saying yes to every opportunity. While I learned a lot, excelled in many things, and do not regret any it, I was overscheduled and could not devote myself to projects like I wish I could have. I realized that given free time with no obligations, I wasn’t 100% sure what I really enjoyed. Knowing what I do now, I would not spread myself so thin, but rather pick those avenues of interest I was most passionate about and devote myself to those. It’s all about balance!”
- What seems insignificant now is still part of the bigger picture. “No, you probably won’t ever need to know the specific dates of wars or remember the rules of integration as you foray into adulthood. But going through the process of adapting to professors, teaching styles, and figuring out how to study best will help us face problems later in life. Education is about learning how to learn.”
Lynsey, we couldn’t agree more! Please help us wish Lynsey the best of luck as she prepares to embrace change by moving to a different city and taking on a new college upon graduating from KVCC this spring. We know she’ll accomplish great things!