Before leaving C-G, there are a few things you probably already know that you want to do. Go to prom, attend a friday night football game, or be a part of the music department are likely top spots on the average “to-do” list. But what would past C-G students insist that current and future Cary-Grove kids aim to accomplish before they graduate? We’ve talked to real alumni who gave us real answers on what everyone should do before receiving their diploma. So here we have, ladies and gentlemen, five things you must do before your time here at Cary-Grove is up.
1- Go to all of the games.
You should “try to go to as many of the sporting events as possible”, said Class of 2012’s Bobby Apitz, and not just the football games. “I went to every basketball game my senior year, and it was a blast.”
Mike Davis, who was in the same class as Apitz, had similar thoughts.
“Even though everyone goes to the football games, my senior year I went to all of the soccer games, and that was awesome, so go to other sporting events- not just football games.”
2- Use your resources.
Cary-Grove offers a ton of different classes and opportunities that will help you in coming years. Apitz pointed out the English department.
“The English program at C-G has put my writing skills at a level they need to be [in order] to succeed, so I have [them] to thank for that.”
Sammi Berrafato, a classmate of Apitz’s, had similar things to say about C-G.
“There are a lot of options […] that can prepare you for college. AP classes and workshops really help.”
The alumni also highlighted resources beyond the classroom. Preston Parker, class of 2013, appreciated the time he spent in his four follies performances.
“Being in Fall Follies, weirdly enough, has prepared me for everything I want to do in my life,” he said. “Writing the skits, [for example]. I write multiple skits a week now for Second City stuff. That sort of ‘performing as yourself’ has helped me tremendously.”
3- Get out of your comfort zone.
“Obviously you want to get involved, but as far as [that] goes, try something new, something you’ve never done before,” said Mickey Duncan, class of 2013.
Berrafato attested to Duncan’s advice, regretting that she was “really shy in high school. You can’t be shy in college if you want to make friends. Come out of your shell and be outgoing.”
Apitz had similar findings when he participated in Mr. C-G his senior year.
“I really enjoyed doing Mr. C-G. I’m not a very outgoing person and stepping out of my comfort zone paid off.”
Mike Tish, class of 2012, also benefited from challenging himself in different ways.
“Football and Swing Choir…are the two things I’d say I got the most out of,” Tish said. “I’m not saying that everyone has to do Swing Choir or play football. But, getting involved in programs that put me outside of my comfort zone, [like Swing Choir], which I had no plans of being a part of when I came to C-G, were the best things I did.”
4- Appreciate the faculty.
“Utilize teachers and ask them questions when you can,” said Class of 2012’s Sheila Wilhelmi. “In college, they don’t know you as well. It’s important to be able to just email them with a question, and high school, I feel, is more practice.”
Patrick Snell, Class of 2013, is on a similar wavelength.
“The one thing that everyone should do, is get to know every teacher you have — don’t just skate through any class, because everyone’s cool,” Snell said. “Not just teachers you have, too. But the principal, gym teachers you don’t have, choir directors, officers, janitors, everyone. Meet as much of the faculty as possible. You’ve grown up with everyone in your class, you’ll hangout with them on the weekends, so talk to everyone in the school.”
5- Yes, it’s cliche, but did you really think this one would ever go away? Get involved.
“Schedule your day, you know, make sure you’ve got something going on everyday,” said Snell.
Wilhelmi concurred. “You hear this all the time, but the most important thing is to get involved and do as much as you can do,” she said. “Try everything you can because there’s so many opportunities with so many different clubs and sports. Try to find what you really like to do.”
Parker, a classmate of Snell’s, had the same thoughts. “Go to everything at least once so you don’t walk out of there with any blanks. That first time always exceeds your expectations, and if you go into everything with an open mind, you’re never going to be disappointed.”