Panther Trails – Riley Byrne

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: Riley Byrne

ISB Class of: 2016

College: Chapman University 

Years in College: 1






  1. What school are you at? What career path are you pursuing?

I am undeclared right now, but am looking into PR/Advertising.

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

I feel that I was lucky. Chapman made the transition very easy for me, as they set up a caring environment for the incoming freshmen. This was sincerely surprising to me because I was always told how hard the transition is from family members. I prepared for the worst and ended up doing well. I think preparing for the worst and accepting my fate of dying a crippling death at school was a terrible thing to do to myself, but I ended up having a brighter outlook on the new school year when I stepped onto campus and the world evidently did not end.

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

ISB did wonders for me. I was the biggest advocate in high school for tearing down the unhealthy emphasis that I believed ISB placed on academics. Now, being in college, I find that whipping out essays and studying for a test comes second nature to me because ISB prepared me so well. This doesn’t mean that ISB’s preparation method is for everyone. I think if you are able to put in the work at ISB, and maintain levels of sanity, then college work will feel like less of a burden. It’s about pushing yourself so that you can place yourself so close to the line of insanity, just so that when you gain your sanity again, you can look how far you’ve come and know that you can do anything.

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

The advice I would give to Seniors right now is to have fun. Do your work, but don’t let it take over your life. It’s second semester senior year and the C that you just got on that quiz doesn’t matter. Soak up your surroundings. Spend that extra day at the pool. Figure out all the BTS stops finally. Find live music and dance with your friends. This is the last year where you will be truly comfortable for a while, so make the most of it! Explore the wonderful life you have!

  1. Any other thoughts to share?

High school is wonderful. Living in Thailand is hard to top. But please don’t peak in high school. Keep your head on straight and don’t be elitist once you leave ISB. Stay humble and happy and live your best senior year. Here are a few ideas that might make your future self-happy.

1) Keep the small things: a movie stub from a wonderful night, a slightly stolen souvenir from a good night, a shell from a beach vacation. Keep the mementos so that you can hold on to the memories.

2) Never be afraid to show how much you love someone, because truly, you can’t lose anything when all you have to give is kindness.

3) Most of all, hug your parents because this might be the very last time you will ever have a normal routine living with them, and we will never understand everything they’ve done to raise our spoiled bums.

And to juniors- the best thing I can tell you is if anyone you aren’t comfortable with asks you where you are applying when you still have no idea, always answer with “Harvard” and smile. They’re a-holes for asking that anyways.



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