Alumni Interview: Taylor Coumoutseas

Taylor Coumoutseas graduated from Tech back in 2014 and is majoring in English. She was kind enough to allow me to ask her a few questions about her experiences at Tech and her experiences so far in college as well.

How was your experience at tech?
“My experience at Tech was definitely one to remember. I truly could not have found any other high school that would have suited me more. I made perfect lifelong friends and I was able to share all my high school experiences with them. From SING! to Spring Musical to trips, such as Disney, there was never a dull moment!”

What was your favorite class in high school?
“My favorite class in high school was always English. I particularly enjoyed AP Literature, which I took senior year with Ms. Federico. I’ve always loved to read, but taking English classes really enhances how enjoyable that is. You are given a whole group of students that share their thoughts and opinions on books, opening your mind to perspectives you may not have thought about on your own. You also have the opportunity to speak up and get feedback about your thoughts. Having a teacher who is so informed about these novels and has taught them for a time is extremely helpful in understanding them. I enjoyed AP Literature in particular because of this, and it challenged me to analyze books in a way I had not done before. I read both my favorite novel, Sula by Toni Morrison and my favorite Shakespeare play, Othello, in that class, and it definitely inspired me in my choice of major in college.”

How was the transition from high school to college?
“The transition was definitely difficult at first. I was reluctant to move on, as I was very content with my life at Tech. I remember at graduation it really hit me that I would have to embark on a new journey. I had tears in my eyes, when I thought about Maggie Fox’s yearbook quote, Winnie the Pooh, saying “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” This made me look at it as a positive experience, and when I reached college I was excited to see what new possibilities awaited.”

What do you miss the most?
“Most things in high school, I was able to find again in college. The one thing I miss the most is SING!. I don’t really do theatre; I don’t sing, act, or dance, but SING! allowed me to be part of a musical, which I never thought I would even be interested in, let alone enjoy. However, from this experience I acquired a love for musicals, which I continue to enjoy now, as I am always listening to showtunes.”

What is different about college as opposed to high school?
“College is, as Aladdin would describe it, “a whole new world, a new fantastic point of view” where there is “no one to tell us no or where to go.” It is also “shining, shimmering, splendid.” The biggest difference between high school and college is that in college you have a lot more freedom and are free to take whatever courses you want, within boundaries. I enjoy the independence, even though sometimes it can make things more difficult.  It is also a lot bigger, and there is less of a sense of community.  While I do miss this sense of community, it is refreshing to always be around new people.”

What is your major?
“I am studying English and education in hopes of being a high school English teacher. I am beyond happy with my choice of major, and the fact that I will soon get to read books and talk about and teach them for a living is so exciting to me! I love all of my English classes, and look forward to what the future holds.”

How has your college experience been so far?
“My college experience started out rough. I was surprised by the workload. People joke about how college is more lenient, but it is really so much work. I stumbled with grades, my major undeclared, but all of that changed when I realized what I want to actually study. Now, I am motivated and passionate about my studies, even more so than I was in high school. I am also working at Magic, a place that does birthday parties for children. Working with them is a lot of fun, and is important experience for me to have in order for me to get a job as an educator. I am happy to be going to school and working, because I am always busy, but I enjoy both my classes and my job, so I am never bored.”

What is some advice you would give to someone who is graduating Tech and entering college?
“The most important advice I could give is, like Macklemore said, ‘Press play, don’t press pause.’ While high school may have been fun, college is a wonderful experience. Don’t hold back or be afraid of the new opportunities, and instead, embrace them. Keep an open mind when it comes to activities and keep an open heart when it comes to making friends. Don’t live in the past, but definitely use things you’ve learned in high school to further yourself in college.”

By Sierra Triolo

 

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