Panther Trails – Toffy Charupatanapongse

In an ongoing feature at PantherNation, we will be checking in every few weeks with recent alumni as they offer their advice and reactions to University life.

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Name: Toffy Charupatanapongse

ISB Class of: 2016

College: UCLA

Years in College: 1





  1. What career path are you pursuing?

That is a good question. I still have no idea, which is kind of terrifying since I might be graduating this year. But I’m a Geography major with a minor in Global Studies!

  1. How would you describe the transition from ISB to your new College?

From what I remember, it was relatively smooth. What was new to me was the concept of not having to eat with people, or go anywhere with people. ISB always seemed very cliquey to me and at such a big school like UCLA, that was not the case. You definitely learn to be more independent and that has its benefits- you get more freedom, etc.

  1. Do you feel ISB prepared you well for your College experience (both academically and socially)?

For me, I think it did. IB Diploma made my first year relatively easy, although I have heard otherwise. I hear a lot of people who say high school was the easiest thing ever compared to college, so it really depends on your school/major. However, I definitely think ISB teaches you time management, since you go to school five days a week and a lot of you have sports practice until 5. Looking back, I don’t know how I woke up at 6 am every day to go to school and how I survived starting homework at 8 pm. So in that aspect, ISB prepared me well for college!

  1. What advice would you give to this year’s Seniors as they follow in your footsteps next year?

Spend as much time as you can with your family. When you start college, even if they don’t show it, they will be sad to see you go. For most of you, you really won’t get to see them that much, so cherish the time you have with them!

Don’t be too worried or stressed about college applications – you WILL get in somewhere, and everything will work out. Despite how terribly stressed you may be now, you may even learn that where you end up is a way better fit for you than your ‘dream school’. Just trust in yourself and your application. If you don’t get in somewhere, it may seem like the end of the world, but I promise things will work out!

Don’t forget to do everything you want to do – don’t just think about wanting to do something, go out and actually do it.

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  1. Any other thoughts to share?

Just enjoy every day as it is – embrace and celebrate your struggles and take pride in your accomplishments. This is really random, but get a credit card when you go to college.

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