EMILIA RICCIUTI, Bucknell University
ER: I felt that Lebo more than prepared me for college. The high levels at which we were expected to academically perform by the teachers and staff gave me the ability to set similarly high expectations for myself in college, an ability for which I will be forever grateful.
JT: What was the hardest part of the tradition from high school to college?
ER: The hardest part for me was getting used to living on my own. Thankfully, I had no real struggles transitioning academically or socially.
JT: Is college less or more challenging than high school?
ER: It is challenging in a vastly different way, but I wouldn’t say more or less. In high school, you are constantly pushed to do your best in your many classes, but you don’t really have to deal with the realities of being an adult in the world. In college, you have schoolwork to complete, yes, but at the same time I think the real struggle is to figure out who you are and what you want to do with yourself for the rest of your life.
JT: How do you balance academics, extracurriculars and a social life?
ER: I found that because I was on a sports team (track and field), my time was essentially balanced for me, as long as I remained productive in the time that was not spent in class or at practice.
JT: What surprised you most about college?
ER: I think that what surprised me most about college was the ease with which I was able to transition into the academic rigors of college living. I always knew that I was receiving a quality education at Mt. Lebanon but I became so appreciative of it in this past year.
JT: What’s one piece of advice you wish someone had given you?
ER: You’re not going to know who you’re going to be for a long time. And it’s OK.
JT: What’s something you wish you had done your freshman year?
ER: I honestly don’t really have any regrets about freshman year. I think I made the most of my experience and I wouldn’t trade the lessons I learned or the things I did for the world.
JT: Are you glad you left Pittsburgh?
ER: Yeah. Considering I have lived my entire life in the same home, I think I needed to get out and experience other places on my own.
JT: If you could give one piece of advice to a senior graduating from Mt. Lebanon, what would it be?
ER: Enjoy every second of freshman year because it goes by all too quickly.