The Rocket Flame

Advice for College Freshmen From Alumnae


In the library lobby of James Buchanan High School, a banner hangs where students and faculty can write advice and inspiring words for seniors that are graduating.

It is the middle of the summer, and you are roaming through the aisles of stores trying to shop for your dorm. There are so many things in so many colors, and you do not know where to start. You’re asking yourself questions like:

“Do I need a duster?”

“Should I get a planner to plan out my week?”

“Should I buy this value pack of Ramen so I can save up money?”


These are all questions that have been asked many times before, and they will continue to be asked many times in the future, but the advice from a few alumni who asked the same questions should set you in the right direction.


James Buchanan Alumni Class of 2017, Veronica Harmon, Lebanon Valley College, and Kayla McKenzie, Millersville University, wanted to share some advice that they wish they had when they were going into college as freshmen.


First of all, moving into college can be a hassle, so take necessary precautions to avoid any unnecessary struggles.


“Having all your stuff organized before going there is very handy,” said Harmon. “Having your clothes together, having your toiletries together, and so forth, is very helpful, so you are not looking for random stuff that could be in any box.”


To maintain a tidy dorm room, work with your roommate to keep your dorm room clean.


“I am a very clean person, so I have everything clean always, but my roommate was quite different than that.” Harmon said.  “Understanding whose responsibility is whose [is important], like I took out the garbage when she took out the recycling.”


Scheduling can become a lifesaver when it comes to staying on track.


“Have a set day on when you like to do things [helps]. I would always do laundry on Tuesdays because it wasn’t busy,” said Harmon. “Having a schedule will help you figure out when to do things at the best time like you can’t vacuum if you have a carpet during quiet hours.”


When it comes to saving money, the best advice is to actually save it up.


“Put money in your savings account and don’t touch it unless it’s in an emergency and, no, wanting fast food isn’t an emergency,” said McKenzie. “You have a meal plan for a reason, but treating yourself once a week won’t kill you either.”


If the situation occurs when you are not doing the best in your classes, you have resources around you to help.


“Teach yourself if you have to, get a tutor, or work with the people in your class,” said McKenzie. “You only have to deal with this professor for one semester.”


A tip for a successful college academic career is to stay on task with your work.


“When you are working on your work, you have to focus on that and not have any distractions because you have to stay ahead,” said Harmon.


To destress after an immense workload, you can do activities around campus.


“Colleges usually have a crazy amount of clubs and extracurriculars,” said McKenzie. “I suggest getting involved in at least one every semester. Find something you love and join that club.”


These two college sophomores are only two opinions. There are plenty of other additional articles and lists that could help you prepare for your future in college. Not only that, but you could also ask more people you know attending college for their advice. Also, don’t forget if you have any questions that you can’t find answers to online, contact your college to ask.

Decision Day 2018

College Application Survival Guide


While lending a helping hand, Amber Brindle (12) chats with Maddie Hissong (12) to make the process more enjoyable.

If you have been thinking about how you are going to survive filling out college applications when you become a senior, don’t stress, a few seniors have given advice on how to survive the process and the applications themselves.


Every year, James Buchanan High School has College Application Day in the fall. Seniors who choose to participate can go and fill out their applications with the assistance from several peers and adults.


With many college options around the country, this gives you a chance to make your decision on where you want to apply.

As students inquire about their applications, Ms. Amy Violante (staff), sets out to assist Abby Mackling (12) with her questions.

“You fill out a paper where it’s like your top four colleges you wanna do, and you mainly try and complete those,” said Tanner Miller (12).


Along with you being able to apply to the colleges of your choice, there is also direct decision where you can apply to a school and get accepted that day.


“I like having that direct decision, you know. Knowing I’d be accepted right there was really nice,” said Emma Bafile (12).


Friends come in handy, too, when completing your applications and making the process go by smoother.


“Kinda work with your friends, arrange to meet at certain periods, and then just proofread each other’s essays and just help out. It is more fun when it’s a group,” said Bafile.


Even though you can use your peers, there will also be professionals who are there to assist. 


“There were tons of people floating around, and really all they were there for was to answer your questions, so use them,” said Makenna Piper (12).


If you are not sure that using the people around you will be enough to conquer your nerves about filling out applications, research the information that needs to be filled out beforehand.


“Look up what colleges you want to go to in your junior year, and start looking at applications, not necessarily filling them out, but at least looking at them and seeing what kind of information is required,” said Miller.


If you still don’t have your mind set on what you want to be, there is still time to decide.You should take your time and think rationally about your future career path.


“I’ve been kinda fluctuating between psychology, english, and law,” said Piper. “I would love to go into psychology or even philosophy, but the thing is, it’s hard to get a job without having a doctorate or a masters.”


College applications can be stressful to complete, so take your time, ask questions, and follow advice.

Senior Superlatives 2017-2018

Congratulations to the following Seniors for winning Senior Superlatives in the yearbook! We will be in touch in the coming month to photograph you for the yearbook!  Teachers will be voting on JB Legacy and we will announce on this page next week!

Most Athletic – Hunter Sowers & Abby Mackling

Most Evolved – Sean Bankson & Sarah Abbott

Best Smile – Aiden Mickley & Sydni Ressler

Biggest Outdoorsmen – Kyler Atherton & Amber Brindle

Most Fashionable – Nick Garbinski & Macey Keefer

Best Hair – Carlos Rauch & Shayla Ramsey

Best Laugh – Austin Sheppard & Saige Eckard

Worst Case of Senioritis – Zach Devotie & Emilie Cookus

Most Musical – Sean Martin & Claire Alfree

Most Artistic – Harley Lehman & Lauren Fleming

Class Clown – Jae-Lin Carmack & Brookelynn Lester

Most Likely to Succeed – Logan Rockwell & Renee Sollenberger

Most Involved – Noah Shank & Kierstyn Martin

Best Eyes – Sawyer Seville & Mickey Heinbaugh

Most Likely to Look 20 When They are 40 – Alec Hillier & Ashlynn Roppolo

Most Friendly – Denver Norcross & Megan Hoffeditz

Most Charisma – Clay Sanders & Madelyn Hissong

JB Legacy – Kaiden Stinson & Mackenzie Runk

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