Brookings Hall

Alumni Spotlight: Immersion in the College Experience

In our Alumni Spotlight series, we introduce you to some of the exceptional students that have participated in our programs as they share insights and advice for future pre-college program participants.

Meet Roses Wong! Roses is a junior at WashU majoring in Psychology with a minor in Spanish. She attended a High School Summer Institute the summer before her junior year in high school and returned in 2023 as a program assistant. She is part of Deneb STARS and is a Trio Scholar. She currently works at the Chabad House on campus preparing food for the Shabbat meals. In her free time, Roses likes to cook, play video games, read, build puzzles, watch sitcoms, and forage.

What was your favorite part of the High School Summer Institute program?

"My favorite part of the High School Summer Institute Program was getting to immerse myself into the college experience. Although the courses were not at the level of difficulty as my current undergraduate courseload, it was great to experience what it was like to live in residential housing, navigate campus, and just generally have complete control over my day-to-day schedule. I loved that independence and felt at home on campus."

What was your biggest take away from your time in the program?

"My biggest takeaway from my time in the program was learning how to truly take care of myself. It was up to me to put myself out there and make friends, set my schedule, and make decisions for myself, and although a little overwhelming at first, I learned how to take charge. I went back home much more confident in myself. Being in the program enhanced my ability to organize and maintain self-care even while stressed. It not only prepared me for a very hectic Junior and Senior year in high school, but also for the rest of my college career."

What factors did attending a High School Summer Institute play into your decision to attend WashU?

"Prior to coming to the program, WashU had already been a school that I was interested in attending. Attending it confirmed that WashU is the place for me. There was a sense of community on campus unlike any other university that I had visited. Everyone was so welcoming and everything felt perfect. I found the campus to be beautiful and after getting to speak to current students at the time, I realized that here at WashU, I could be surrounded by other students like me. It wasn't really a decision, it was fate."

"There was a sense of community on campus unlike any other university that I had visited."

What would you like potential students to know about attending our programs?

"The High School Summer Institutes provide an experience unlike any other. It's a program that really helps you find yourself and what you value in your college experience. If anyone is nervous about the college experience or about being alone for the first time, this is a great way of getting a small taste of what it may be like. These programs are incredibly informative and immersive, I still think back to how great my experience was and take a lot of happiness in getting to help provide that experience for other students."


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