Words of Advice from the Sagacious Mrs. Comblo

By Emma Konrad
Volume 69, Issue IV

Briarcliff Bulletin: What advice would you give your incoming AP US History students?
Comblo: Do not be fearful of change. Each new year is a great opportunity as well as a great reset button. Try to embrace the opportunities you have in high school to meet new friends and to get to know your teachers, who are great resources. Become an active member in the community, and an easy way to do this is by joining clubs and local organizations.

BB: What advice would you give regarding college academics in the first year?
C: Ditto. Take this new start as a chance to broaden your connections. Interact with people from different regions of country or the globe to enrich and inform your perspective. College is a period of transition, so embrace it. Try new things! Make an effort to expose yourself to new learning and social opportunities. Explore all of your passions through your course selection, especially courses that you know nothing about but are curious to learn more about them. Enhance your existing passions by bringing your knowledge about them to a new depth. Take advantage of every opportunity to advance your understanding of a different topic. Inquiry is part of learning and foster it through course or clubs or events. These are all integral parts of the college experience. Reading is a great way to further your knowledge. It is really important to be motivated. Endeavor to find mentors who will take an interest and guide you on this journey. This means taking the initiative and putting yourself out there. Don’t be afraid to take a chance because oftentimes it is failure that catapults us to other parts of success.


BB: Is there one thing that you think everyone should do or try to do during their time in college?

C: Be safe! Your dorm room isn’t the same as your bedroom at home. It’s imperative that you be aware of your environment at all times. Don’t be alone, especially at night.

BB: What are your reading plans for the summer?
C: The Pioneers by David McCullough. It is such a great book! It’s about the settling of the Northwest Territory by pioneers. They conquered great adversity in the name of building a new community whose foundation consisted of the ideals that would come to define our country.

BB: Do you have any study tips?
C: For your professor’s first test, take care to carefully plan and organize your time. These are critical skills, and in college you are on your own as far as time management goes. If the first test does not go well, then meet with the professor, who is a valuable resource. Take advantage of resources available to you, including study groups, tutors, and office hours.


BB: Is there one key thing that you learned from your college experience that still holds true today?
C: Learning it is not just contained to one time in your life, it continues throughout your life. There is no beginning nor end; it is a continuum.

BB: Any last bits of advice or remaining wisdom?
C: Be true to yourself and enjoy the experience. Be willing to step forward and do what you are interested in; don’t follow everyone else’s path. In life, we don’t follow the same path, which is important, so don’t do things just to be with your friends. Make new friends who share these other interests of yours.


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