Alumni Interview with Andrea Prest (NCP Class of 2020)

Grace Kim, Co-News Editor

Current School Attending: Penn State University

It has been one year since Andrea Prest walked through the halls of Northside as a senior. Now as a freshman at Penn State University, Prest returns as an alumni to share what life after high school is like.

How does Chicago compare to Centre County, Pennsylvania?

There is definitely a shift between the two locations. Downtown in Centre County is like a brisk walk with lots of shops and activities to do compared to Chicago’s downtown with its massive skyscrapers. A fun fact I learned is that downtown State College came after the campus, so a lot of it is meant for Penn State students. It has been awesome living in a true college town. I definitely do miss being near Lake Michigan because in the middle of Pennsylvania there isn’t a huge lake or beach to go to on a nice day. 

How was the transition from Northside to Penn State?

Location-wise, there was a massive shift as well as having to live in a place where so many things I love don’t exist. I can’t go off campus to 2 Asian Brothers anymore or even get a Culver’s (everyone here is in a Sheetz/Wawa debate). There’s also so many more people here, so I’ve been able to meet even more people with different personalities. 

What aspects of college were easy or difficult to adjust to? 

One of the easy things has been navigating State College. The fact that Google Maps exists helped a lot with getting to and from places and learning my way around the campus hasn’t been too hard. One of the most difficult things was having to deal with the distance between me and my family. Even though I have some relatives and friends in the Northeast (Philadelphia, New York City, etc.), being nine and a half hours away from my mom, dad, and brother was a difficult thing to face at first. I call home a lot just to catch up with my family and check in on how they’re doing. I keep them updated about my life as well. 

What clubs and extracurricular activities did you participate in during high school? 

I was in volleyball, softball, bowling, water polo, Stampede, the Hoofbeat, and Junior/Senior Leaders. I also sold clothes at the school store and just generally volunteered at Northside for open houses and things like that. 

What is your major and how did you end up choosing it?
I’m working to get into the advertising and public relations major right now because I feel like it allows me to be creative while also still having some flexibility in where I work. One of my dream jobs is working social media for some sports team (dream team being the Chicago Cubs), and with this major, I can do a lot with it. 

Any advice you would like to give to current students?
Get involved in college! I can’t speak for all schools, but we have an involvement fair here where we tell people to put their name down for anything they might be interested in. If they end up not liking it, that’s okay. I didn’t expect to find a family with my clubs, but within my first year here, I’ve made some amazing friends. That all started by reaching out and getting involved.