College Previews: Insights for Students

By Michelle Schiffl P’25, ’28 and Melissa Wilson P’25, ’26, PFA College Previews Co-Chairs 

As high school seniors and juniors embark on the exciting, yet daunting, journey of transitioning to college life, College Previews provides an opportunity to gain insights from those who are currently experiencing college life after graduating from Punahou. This annual gathering provides a broad perspective of the college experience for our current juniors, seniors and their parents, where they can learn more about campus life from a students’ point of view and even inquire about various majors, extracurricular activities and potential career paths.  

This year’s event, hosted by the Punahou Parent Faculty Association, College Counseling Department and Alumni Relations Office, will feature Punahou alumni from the classes of 2023, 2022, 2021 and 2020 and will be held in the Thurston Memorial Chapel and PE Pavilion on December 20 from 3 – 5 p.m. 

Moderated by Punahou’s College Counselors, College Previews opens with College Transitions, a presentation showcasing panelists who are recent Punahou alumni currently attending college. Following the presentation in the Chapel, attendees will be able to visit with the alumni who represent their current college, chat and ask questions. 

Last year, approximately 80 alumni represented over 40 various colleges and universities spanning different regions of the United States and abroad. They shared their experiences, discussed their encounters with coursework, time management, and study habits, and offered valuable advice to current students. Alumni were able to shed light on the challenges they faced, the successes they achieved, and the ways in which Punahou School prepared them for the next chapter in their lives. By sharing their surprises and challenges, Punahou alumni aim to prepare the next generation for the academic rigors and adventures that lie ahead. 

“It was like a mini reunion for the alumni … catching up with classmates, laughing, hugging, and sharing about their new college life. They were also eager to share with the current Punahou juniors and seniors about their experiences. As a Punahou  teacher, I especially enjoyed reconnecting with my wonderful former students and hearing all about their new endeavors and experiences. I had so much fun at this event and am excited to be a part of it again this year.” – Michelle Schiffl, PFA College Previews Co-Chair 

“The upcoming College Previews event promises to be an enriching and fun experience. The energy and excitement that the alumni bring is palpable. By tapping into the collective wisdom of those who have successfully navigated the transition to college, attendees will be reassured that there is a network of alumni that will support them.” – Melissa Wilson, PFA College Previews Co-Chair  

This initiative exemplifies the strong sense of community at Punahou School, where alumni actively contribute to the growth and success of the next generation. As students prepare to spread their wings, they can draw inspiration and lessons from those who once sat in the same classrooms and walked the same hallways, making the journey ahead a bit more familiar and a lot more manageable.

College Previews will be held Wednesday, December 20. The event begins with a College Transitions presentation from 3 – 3:30 p.m. in the Thurston Memorial Chapel and continues with College Previews sessions from 3:45 – 5 p.m. in the P.E. Pavilion.  Invitations with additional details have been sent to families of Punahou Juniors ’25 and Seniors ’24.

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