EDISON-- Five Wardlaw+Hartridge graduates from the Class of 2020 participated in a virtual panel discussion on Zoom in last Friday’s W+H Parents’ Association meeting. Twenty parents, representing all three divisions, attended the session, which was moderated by Chris Teare, Director of College Counseling, and Sarah Honan, Associate Director of College Counseling.

The panel consisted of current college freshmen Sydney Johnson of Piscataway (Princeton), Logan D'Amore of Scotch Plains (Emory), Kallie Schildge of Westfield (Providence), Wilson Huang of Plainfield (Babson) and Arun Lakshman of Westfield (Georgetown).

The alumni answered questions about the college application process and their transition from W+H to their colleges and universities. They agreed that W+H prepared them to manage their time, excel academically and interact with peers, faculty and administrators alike. The school’s intimate learning environment fosters those strengths.

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“One of the things Wardlaw+Hartridge does so well with its small class sizes is that it allows you to know everybody in the class,” Arun said. “You can still get that sense of community on a college campus. It’s a lot bigger, but you can get involved in clubs and small associations, depending on the campus you go to. Despite the larger campus, you can find the same sense of community. You just really need to look for it. That sense of closeness with a group of students is very important.”

The panel also discussed other important aspects of the college process, including interviews, essays and campus visits, which have become more challenging during the pandemic. They agreed that “being yourself” is a key factor for applicants to convey in all interactions with colleges and universities. It can be a very stressful process but parent support will make the ride much smoother. 

“Sometimes your kids just need to hear that you love them, support them and believe in them,” Sydney said. “My parents were always very good at supporting me and believing in me. They’re proud of me, but they never allowed me to be complacent.”

The Wardlaw+Hartridge School (1295 Inman Ave., N. Edison) is Central Jersey’s premier PreK-12 independent school. The campus is located near the Scotch Plains border and just five miles from downtown Westfield. It is a private, nonsectarian, coeducational day school that prepares students to lead and succeed in a world of global interconnection. Wardlaw+Hartridge provides an educational atmosphere characterized by academic challenge, support for individual excellence, diversity, and a familial sense of community. To take a virtual tour of the school, visit https://www.whschool.org/admission/take-a-virtual-tour