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Lansing High School Hosts “Return of the Bobcats” Alumni Panel

Lansing High School graduates returned to their alma mater to speak at the "Return of the Bobcats" Panel Presentation. 

On Wednesday, Dec. 18, 18 Lansing High School alumni returned to their alma mater for a panel presentation to share their post-high school experiences and advice with current Lansing students.

Divided into two sessions, the former students gathered in the LGI room at the high school to speak to economics and government classes. The event was also open to students in study halls.

The panel members listened to student questions and spoke about their experiences adjusting to a new environment at college, maintaining good mental health, living with roommates and preparing for the college application process. 

Alumni agreed that the best way to adjust to a new school is to get involved in clubs and organizations on campus as a way to make friends. They also mentioned that it is beneficial to be open to new opportunities and get outside your comfort zone. 

“Any big change is going to be scary at first, so make sure to give yourself time to adjust,” said Lansing alumna Maria Robinson.

The former students also discussed their favorite ways to de-stress when their class and work schedules start to feel overwhelming. They suggested joining a gym on campus, getting a pet, cooking homemade meals, taking meditation classes, cutting down on screen time and spending time with friends.

They also discussed the importance of budgeting and suggested wallet-friendly alternatives to buying textbooks, like renting or buying books secondhand. Some alumni noted that understanding the impact of student loans when deciding where to go to college is essential.

“Understanding the financial commitment is important. Make sure you’re aware of student loans and their interest - that will become a reality after you graduate,” said panel member Margot Miller.

Another topic the alumni spoke about was how to handle living with roommates. They suggested creating a “roommate agreement,” outlining clear expectations and obligations for the school year. They emphasized the importance of respecting a roommate’s space and belongings, while communicating about any issues that may come up.

“I can’t stress communication enough. In the beginning there were a lot of things [about my living situation] that really upset me, but I didn’t want to create a fuss or start anything, so I wouldn’t say anything. Make sure to speak up about those things,” said Lansing alumna Ishi Gupta.

Gupta noted that, from her experience, many arguments with roommates were centered around finances. She suggested using mobile payment apps, such as Venmo or PayPal, to easily split any bills between roommates.

The panel also touched on how to prepare for college applications by taking Advanced Placement classes and taking advantage of courses such as the New Visions program at TST BOCES. They also suggested getting involved in after-school athletics and music programs. Caleb Spencer, Lansing alumnus, noted that showing academic improvements and getting involved in extra-curricular activities will help balance college applications.

“Colleges will see if you put in the effort in high school. Straight-A students are impressive, but colleges like seeing that you took the initiative to be a well-rounded student,” said Spencer.

Steve Jones, Lansing High School Counselor, shared that he got the idea for this event because it was something he used to do at a school where he previously worked. 

“We have explored the possibility of doing this over the years and I am so glad it finally happened. It was great to see our former students and I hope they felt welcomed back. We appreciate their time, thoughtfulness and helpful advice they gave to our students,” said Jones.

A complete list of Lansing High School alumni who participated in the "Return of the Bobcats" panel presentation can be found below:

Sierra Boles, Class of 2014
Jacob Christofferson, Class of 2019
Elena Gupta, Class of 2015
Ishi Gupta, Class of 2019
Caeden Hass, Class of 2019
Matthew Kirkwood, Class of 2019
Destiny Little, Class of 2019
Makayah Little, Class of 2018
Colin McClure, Class of 2018
Margot Miller, Class of 2016
Hannah Overstrom, Class of 2017
Maria Robinson, Class of 2019
Brandon Rosengberg, Class of 2019
Brian Sok, Class of 2019
Caleb Spencer, Class of 2019
Margaret Steffie, Class of 2016
Addie Swanbrough, Class of 2019
David Waldman, Class of 2018
Lansing High School alumna Ishi Gupta speaks about the importance of communication when living with roommates.
Lansing High School alumnus Matthew Kirkwood speaks about his post-high school experiences.