Advice for first-term freshmen at Walnut Hill College
Sep 17, 2018Student Leadership Development Institute
By Carli Caroselli, Stephanie Sinclair, Gabriella Westraadt, and Caitlin Hedrich
The first term here at Walnut Hill College can be intimidating, so my fellow student leaders and I decided to write our first blog about advice for being a successful student during the first term. I think one of the biggest keys to succeeding at this college is being extremely punctual. Try to arrive at least fifteen minutes before class, especially for a hands-on kitchen class. Consistently being punctual and prepared definitely helps to make a good impression with your instructors and future employers. Always write the recipes down before class, even if it’s not required of you. If you take that extra step to understand what you’re doing before you even step into the kitchen, you’re already winning. Get in the habit of writing prep lists for yourself. It’s a great habit to establish now, and it will greatly help you to succeed in the future. It’s extremely important to start establishing good habits for yourself now in the beginning, when classes are fairly easy. Ask questions. Never be afraid to speak up if you don’t understand something. And finally, never stop learning and strive to be the best hospitality professional you can be!
–Carli Caroselli, Student Leader
Culinary Arts, Graduating Class of July 2019
Starting off freshman year can be a lot to handle, especially at a college as fast paced and involved as this one. As we begin this school year, I think it is important to share some things I wish I had known going into my freshman year. First of all, staying organized is really important in order to be successful. There is a balance between going to classes, working, doing homework, having a social life, having time for yourself, and taking care of other responsibilities you may have. While it is challenging, it is possible. I recommend getting a planner or having some kind of organizational tool so you do not spread yourself too thin. There is a popular quote on social media that states, “Sleep more than you study, study more than you party, and party as much as you can.” While everyone will have their own schedules and make their own choices, I think this quote is important to keep in mind when trying to keep balance and be successful in all that you do. Also, drink lots of water and eat plenty of food. The kitchens are hot and regardless of your major, it is important to stay hydrated throughout the day and have food in your system. We all get really busy and, in my personal experience, sometimes we neglect basic necessities without even realizing it. However, it is important to take care of your health and yourself. Another thing to keep in mind is the size of the college, because it has pros and cons to it. Since WHC is such a small college, everyone knows everyone. With that said, your reputation, opportunities, and involvement at the school are generally up to you. Be careful with what you say and how you represent yourself, because people do notice. There are so many different opportunities, and having a positive reputation will get you far. You are a student here, so get involved while you can and take advantage of all that is offered to you. Good luck to each and every one of you. I hope you have a great year and enjoy your time here!
–Stephanie Sinclair, Student Leader
Restaurant Management, Graduating Class of July 2019
As a commuter at WHC, it may seem impossible to be an active part of the community here. It’s not as hard or as bad as you may think.
You can’t think of it as an impossible problem to solve. If you have Production or Operations in the morning, just stay an hour later. If you have a noon class, come an hour earlier.
You may also say, “I don’t know what club to go to, where they meet, or when they meet!” Ms. D’Angelo makes a posting on Schoology every Monday that lists all the club activities with their point allocations for the upcoming week.
Chefs oftentimes need help with special projects or Community Ed classes, which also get posted on Schoology and are a fun way to get more than one point, and most of the time you learn something, too.
–Gabriella Westraadt, Student Leader
Pastry Arts, Graduating Class of March 2020
My biggest piece of advice, which is something I have grown to learn within the past two years of attending Walnut Hill College, is that the experience and education are going to be exactly what you make it. You can show up to class, do the bare minimum that is required, and struggle to maintain your grades and enthusiasm. As I said before, it’s up to you to decide how deep your education will go. I suggest you become involved and remember why you were inspired to come here in the first place. These past two years, I have grown tremendously professionally and personally, and I am doing things that I never thought were possible for me. It is all because I took control of my education and my involvement in the college and made them what I wanted them to be. Get out there and build relationships with your teachers and chefs, because they can teach you so many important and valuable things outside of what you learn in class. Go to clubs that interest you, attend activities if you have the time, and show off the passion that drove you to attend this school to begin with. Education, no matter what form, is absolutely never a waste. It is something we too often take for granted. So, remember why you are here, make the most of this time in your life, and, most important, have gratitude for the opportunities and education you are able to receive. This is your life, and it most definitely will be what you make it.
–Caitlin Hedrich, Student Leader
Pastry Arts, Graduating Class of July 2019