College Advice from Burger Alumni, Lizzy Twitchell


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Rachelle P., Journalist

The Burger Gazette interviews 2017 Burger graduate, Lizzy Twitchell.

TBG: What’s the workload comparison as a full-time freshman in college versus
full-time at Williamsburg?

Lizzy Twitchell: Well, you would think college would be a little bit more, but actually
it’s been lighter for me by at least like 60%. Normally they say that for every hour of
class you take you have two hours of homework. That’s not really true. Not consistently
at least. When there’s a big assignment then it’s going to be like that, but for me, up until
like the last week, not really (that busy).

TBG: What surprised you most about going to college?

Lizzy: I have to say that there weren’t a whole ton of surprises really, but what surprised
me most was probably how prepared I was for college—how easy it was for me to adjust
to college life, and how much it was like Williamsburg (except strangely enough, on an
easier level).

TBG: What is the best thing about living on your own?

Lizzy: Having my own personal space and getting to decide what I do and not having to
be accountable to anyone. But I still tell people where I’m at in case something happens,
because bad things do happen. Just basic precautions.

TBG: What is the worst thing about living on your own?

Lizzy: The worst thing is having to pay for everything. Paying for rent, utilities, and
making sure you have the money to pay for it.

Williamsburg did a LOT to prepare me for college.”

— Lizzy Twitchell

TBG: How did Williamsburg prepare you for college?

Lizzy: Williamsburg did a LOT to prepare me for college. One of the things that really
prepared me was making sure to have a schedule and sticking to it. That’s a big thing,
and it’s hard for me because with the programs I’m in, things are all up in the air and I
don’t get a full out schedule. I was talking with Abby R. (2017 WA alumni) about this
the other day. We really miss being able to rely on the (Canvas) calendar because (in
college) we can rely on stuff for the next day, but beyond that everything is up in the air.

Williamsburg also helped me be able to communicate with my professors. The way that I
communicated with my mentors in Williamsburg is very similar to how I communicate
with my professors now, sometimes just a little bit more stiff. Being able to communicate
with adults is a skill that Williamsburg really helped me with, and that’s become

Also Williamsburg taught me to be more accountable for my education. Williamsburg
was really all based on me. If I wanted to get something out of it, I had to put the work in.
It was not an easy A. For college, it’s really what you put in is what you get out of it.

TBG: What advice do you have on taking the ACT?

Lizzy: If you do not do well with tests, yes, it is scary. If you fall asleep during the test,
just spend the last thirty seconds and fill in random bubbles. There is a proven score that
you will get a better score by doing badly than by not filling them in. But, if you don’t
know what’s on it, don’t stress too much because not everyone walks into the ACT
knowing everything that there is to know to get a perfect score. Definitely, do not stay up
until midnight the night before. Make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep before you
take that test.

TBG: For the students that are still in Williamsburg, that are struggling and feel
like they don’t want to keep going, what advice do you have for them?

Lizzy: There were several points where I almost dropped out of Williamsburg
myself …and one thing that really saved my guts was talking with the mentors and being
open about (my) situation.

Whether it’s close friends or even if you don’t feel comfortable talking to your family,
find somebody that you trust and talk to them because you never know what advice they
can give you that can totally change your world. I had a few people like that and it’s
because of them that I continued through Williamsburg, and it was because of them that I
graduated. That’s also where that skill of learning to talk to adults about what’s going on
really came through.

TBG: What advice do you have for Williamsburg students who are preparing to go
to college?

Lizzy: Start thinking about college your sophomore year of high school. If you have not
started thinking about it by the beginning of your junior year, it’s actually already put you
in a tight spot. I had started thinking about college about the beginning of my junior year.
That’s when I started going kinda nuts about it because that’s what colleges are really
going to look at when you apply. I didn’t really have the best grades in the world, and
because of that I didn’t as great of scholarships.

They don’t get your transcripts from your senior year until you’re ready to start (the
college school year). So really, start preparing the beginning of your junior year so you
can keep those grades up and keep an eye out for different things colleges are looking for.
Also, ACT scores. If you are not satisfied with your score, take it again. I wish I could
have taken it again, but I didn’t have the opportunity to do so.

Start thinking about what you want to go into, and honestly, don’t be afraid to not have
declared your major when you’re filling out your application. There are spots where you
say “This is what I want to go into and this is what I want to do with my life.” At
orientation someone said, “Those of you that have put undeclared (under your major) are
like the smartest people in the world. Work on your generals, and then you can figure out
what you want to do with your life.” Great advice.

TBG: Final thoughts?

Lizzy: Find out what you want and go after it, and don’t be afraid to do it. Ask questions.
People are going to try and deter you from what you want. I got that a lot going through
high school, not just with college. It’s your life, and go with it what you want to.