Moving Forward and Looking Back

Five Alumni Reflect on Their College Preparation at AHS

Abington High School 2019 alumna Katie Marando poses for her senior picture taken at Ames Nowell State Park on November 1, 2018.

Kayla Larkin-Goldman, Contributor


Ever wonder why we’re being taught certain lessons in high school? Ever ask yourself “is this math problem, or any other perplexing concept taught in school, even going to benefit me in the future?” Well, so did these recent 2019 graduates whose four years experience at AHS helped form them into who they are today.

When asked if academics taught at Abington High played a role in preparing her for college, Katherine “Katie” Marando who is currently attending Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) said yes. “Academics at Abington High played a role in preparing me for college, specifically the anatomy course. A lot of the topics we discussed in that class are now arising in my anatomy courses at college, and the familiarity definitely helps me understand the information.

In addition to anatomy, Marando said, “The general group work in all classes in high school has prepared me for lab work and working with other students to reach a common goal. I feel as though this skill is extremely useful and was definitely a significant part of high school that impacted me positively now.”

However, Kayla Cook, a current student at Massasoit Community College said, “AHS academics has not really prepared me for college in a sense that anything I learned comes in handy other than math class, which I only need my freshman year. I understand what we are doing a little more, but other than that, nothing else really prepared me.

Some classes benefited students more than others based on their perspectives and understanding.

As we mature, we learn how to use our time more productively and efficiently. Along with time management, we acquire knowledge on how to pace ourselves, not just for school related topics, but for everything else in life.  

This led to my next question: how has attending Abington High helped you adapt to time management…has it at all? Joselyn Lemus-Chavarria, a freshman at Bridgewater State University, said, “Being at Abington and going to events run by the school, I learned to manage my time very well. If I have free space in between classes, I start my homework, just as I would have a study in high school.”

Like Lemus-Chavarria, Ezron Acevedo, a first-year student at Massasoit Community College, said, “Personally, it all depends on the class. However, overall Abington High has helped me with managing my time.”

Responses were mixed regarding whether or not Abington helped these individuals develop any life skills that came in handy in college. Acevedo said, “No, Abington for the most part has not helped me develop like skills because I still struggle with giving presentations and speaking out in public. This is why I’m taking a speech communication class this year.”

Cook also did not think AHS prepared students for life skills very much. She said, “They [teachers at AHS] don’t really talk much about life outside of school, unless you take Mrs. Daisy’s Life 101 class, but still it’s enough to prepare. It’s just all about being mature and knowing what is appropriate to say while respecting others. There’s a lot of work load that needs balance with family, social life, work, etc. which AHS did not teach, so its stressful at first but you figure it all out yourself!”

However, Marando said, “Abington has most definitely given me some life skills needed in college.  One that immediately comes to mind is the idea of being accepting of people from all different backgrounds, cultures, ethnicity, etc. In college, there are so many students that all have their own stories, and it is so truly important to allow yourself to get to know different people and try to understand where they come from and if you can relate to them or learn something from them. No person is the same as the next, and I believe that accepting all people for who they are really is imperative.”

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Marando, who was a student-athlete while at AHS, added that, “being on sports teams and meeting students from other towns, working with kids, teachers, other adults—that exposure has helped me become someone that is accepting of every kind of person.”

In addition to how AHS academics helped these students prepare for college, they were up for discussion about any class or opportunity offered at Abington that they wished they took before college or paid closer attention to. Abby Maynard, a current freshman at Johnson and Wales, is majoring in computer science and wished there were more opportunities at Abington High that involved computer-based classes. Lemus-Chavarria said she struggled in her math classes over the years and wished she paid more attention in that specific area.

Lastly, when asked how Abington High’s overall environment shaped them as individuals, both Lemus-Chavarria and Acevedo mentioned that participating in group work over the years in high school broke them out of their shell of being shy and reserved. And Maynard stated, “The actual environment at AHS was not always good. I encountered a lot of rude people and I grew much thinner skin and learned to just not listen to people.”

These students have a variety of perspectives about how Abington High School formed them and prepared them for college. It all boils down to their personal goals, and well as their personalities that determined their outlook on their individual high school experiences.