Alumni shed light on life after high school


Calvin Ru

Alumnus Hall Chen explains what he calls “the pyramid of intelligence” as fellow alumna Angela Huang holds his microphone for him.

Calvin Ru, Asst. Photo Editor

Going to college can be a confusing transition for students as they are left to become self sufficient. To ease students’ concerns, Diamond Bar High School graduates spoke during the school’s annual Calculus Day, held Jan. 6, in order to answer some questions that future college attendees may have.

This year, math teachers Jimmy Kuo and Latitia Thomas took the initiative of inviting alumni for the event, taking over the duties of retired  teacher Howard Alcosser.

In addition, Brahma Tech hosted its annual conference after school where five graduates participated in the event.

The panel for the calculus event consisted of alumni who are currently attending college, have graduated from college, or are taking a break to gain work experience.

Topics discussed during the event ranged from essential information necessary for college to managing stress. Speakers included both recent graduates, Ruben Reyes, Jr., Angela Huang, and Sophia Deng, and older graduates Stephanie Chow, Jason Chen, and Sylvia Guan, all of whom attend  Ivy League schools.

While questions and topics varied throughout each calculus and higher level math period, the ultimate goal was to provide future college students insight on what to expect. For example, Reyes, who is currently attending Harvard, informed Brahmas that once in college, a majority of stress comes from stacking too many classes and dealing with too many activities.

“College is very different and you’ll be challenged having to manage your own academic schedule and navigating a new social scene. When things get difficult, make sure to spend time relaxing and really just wasting a little time to de-stress,” Reyes told  the audience.

Likewise, Alina Gallardo invited former Brahma Tech students  to attend the forum while junior Leslie Sim and senior Carol Lai directed the forum. The alumni gave insight on college life as well as some information regarding internships. The five speakers present included Guan, Huang, Hall Chen, Nicole Chen, and Grant Shao.

Hall Chen and Nicole Chen are attending UC Berkeley and both are majoring in electrical engineering and computer science, otherwise known as EECS. Hall advised students not to underestimate college classes, and said he regrets not being able to take physics during high school. Furthermore, Nicole stated that the SAT, AP classes, and college applications gave her a lot of anxiety, but those didn’t matter as much once she got to college.

In addition, Shao, a sophomore majoring in material science and engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, explained how extracurriculars work in college. Although he had joined many clubs related to his major, including robotics, Science Olympiad, and Technology Student Association, he also did it to satisfy his passion rather than to fill his resume.

“A guideline that a good mentor of mine shared with me is one, do you enjoy it, two, are you gaining something from it, and three, are you contributing something to it? You should aim to answer yes to all three,” Shao said.