Insights on the Class of 2019’s First College Semester

Katie DeRose ‘22
EE Entertainment Editor

Arnav Srivastava

Just as the first semester of the 2019-2020 school year is wrapping up at Trumbull High, Trumbull High’s most recent alumni, the Class of 2019, are finishing up their very first college semesters. To weigh in on this, Arnav Srivastava ‘19 and James Gallo ‘19 share their insights on the adjustment between college and high school with the THS community. Srivastava is currently studying Bioengineering at Harvard University, while Gallo is studying Theatrical Design and Production at Carnegie Mellon University.

What activities did you participate in when you were in high school? What activities do you currently participate in at college?

Arnav Srivastava— “During high school, I participated in The Eagle’s Eye, Academic Decathlon, Boy Scouts, Math Team, and BICEN, alongside some other activities! At Harvard, I’m involved in an engineering and synthetic biology club. I’m also doing a fellowship under a program called Effective Altruism, which focuses on effectively giving back to communities.”

James Gallo— “In high school, I was in the marching band, Thespian Society, BICEN, Tri M Music Honors Society, and NHS. Currently, as a Drama student, I am required to work on every production that The School of Drama puts on. I’ve worked on lighting, painting, props, costumes, and scenic building so far for all of the shows that have gone on this season. I’ve worked on about 5 shows.”

What was your favorite class that you took at Trumbull High? Why?

Arnav Srivastava— “I really could not tell you a favorite class since I loved so many teachers. Looking back, I really miss the routine of high school, seeing the same teachers everyday and making personal connections with everyone. At college, I don’t have the same classes everyday, and intro classes as a first-year tend to be on the larger side. On the flip side, it’s been cool having more flexibility on choosing class topics, and I’ve met a lot of incredible new people.”

James Gallo— “I took a lot of really great classes at THS like Shakespeare and AP Environmental Science, but my favorite class would probably have to be AP United States Government and Politics (We The People) because
Ms. Boland was one of the most amazing teachers I’ve ever had. Although I’m not studying anything related to that class in college, the skills I learned there have helped me so much already.”

How does the content and workload of your current classes compare with your high school classes?

Arnav Srivastava— “Since classes are not daily and I’m in class a lot less, classes have more homework, compared to high school, but it’s nice to schedule it on my own time.”

James Gallo— “It’s definitely a lot more time consuming. All of my classes are mostly project based, and we are required to spend a lot of out of class time in our studio building these projects and getting them ready for presentation. Crew is 3-4 nights a week from 6:30 to 10:30, and we are expected to work around that time frame to complete our projects.”

How do you feel about your first semester in college now that it is coming to an end? In what ways were your expectations met? What surprised you?

Arnav Srivastava— “First semester really flew by just one week at a time! It’s been a really awesome experience, but I definitely want to slow down next semester and immerse myself more with my classes and meeting new people and make myself less busy with extracurriculars.”

James Gallo— “I’m very happy with the way first semester turned out. It was an amazing experience to move to a new city and get to know the environment here, while also meeting a lot of new and great people. I expected this, but I am also surprised by how much I would actually enjoy it.”

What advice can you give to Trumbull High students, now from the perspective of a college freshman?

Arnav Srivastava— “Seniors, you’re almost there! College is a huge change, but it’s quick to adjust and you’ll absolutely love it and grow from it!”

James Gallo— “Come into your first year with an open mind and get involved with the things you absolutely love. You won’t be happy at school if you don’t major in the thing you love. Get involved early. There are so many clubs and activities at colleges that it is almost impossible not to get involved”.

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