Graduates return to Smithfield High School to share experiences

Graduates return to Smithfield High School to share experiences

Recent Smithfield High School alumni meet with current students at the school on Alumni Day, held on Dec. 20, to tell them of their experiences in college, what to expect, and how to handle the challenges of higher education. The guest speakers also discussed their experiences joining the military and entering the work force. Three different groups met at the same time to talk with students and answer their questions. (Breeze photos by Charles Lawrence)

SMITHFIELD – Seniors at Smithfield High School received a unique kind of lesson on Dec. 20, when SHS hosted its 2nd annual Alumni Day.

Recent SHS graduates were invited back to discuss the challenges they have faced after high school.

They shared their experiences ranging from basic training, transferring schools, changing majors, deciding to leave school without a degree, finding jobs after graduation, changing jobs, and earning promotions.

The alumni met with seniors in small groups and reflected on lessons they have learned as they set out to achieve the goals they set when they were seniors at SHS.

They offered insight about topics including adjusting to life in a dorm with difficult roommates, choosing and changing majors, making the decision to switch to a different school, coping with academic stress, developing time management skills, and overcoming major personal crises.

Students at Smithfield High School listened to advice from alumni on what to expect in college and when entering the work force and applaud the speakers during the second annual Alumni Day held at the high school.
Kaitlyn Tarro is attending Berklee College of Music in Boston. She stressed the lessons of life she has learned in college and talked about coming from Smithfield and being terrified of the big city of Boston and of talking with other people. Now she has lots of friends including some from Peru and China, and says college has been a life-changing experience for her. On left is Matt Strick a history major at the University of Rhode Island.
Justin Palazzo, who is currently attending Bryant University, talked about a common theme of personal responsibility in college. “Unlike high school,” he said, “no one is telling you what to do.” He said you have to be responsible and manage your time.
Shawn Sousa is currently employed at CVS. He attended Bryant University and told the students that when he was young he was into drugs and alcohol, but getting arrested was a “real eye opener” for him. He realized then that actions have consequences, and he changed his life. He stressed the need to be good at interpersonal relationships and to be a contributor.
Samuel Tubman stresses to the students that success is all up to them.