The Husky Press continues on our journey to bring you the stories of the Alumni of North Lakes Academy. Where have our brilliant graduates gone? Who still lives at home? Who is the next Steve Jobs? Together we will figure these things out one week at a time during our tenacious task to track down our alumni and figure them out. This week we are honored to have Peter Schumacher as our next featured Alumni.
Peter Schumacher graduated from North Lakes Academy in the spring of 2011, part of the first Graduating class of NLA! From North Lakes, Peter went on to the University of Iowa in Iowa. Peter decided to give college a try so that he could experience being totally independent from his parents and other guiding figures in his life. Peter also hopes to receive his degree in English with a high emphasis on creative writing.
Peter enjoys being in college because there is “[A] Lot of freedom and chances for exploration.” However, this freedom comes with a price, Peter also feels that it can be difficult to juggle everything in college, “There’s a funny diagram that sums it up pretty well: It shows a triangle. At one point it says “Good Grades,” another says “Enough Sleep,” and the third says “Social Life.” In the center it says “Choose two.” That’s probably the best way to describe it.” Peter comments on how hard it can be staying on top of things and figuring it all out, “There are so many events and gatherings and presentations happening every day that it can get a little overwhelming. You want to try out all sorts of things but don’t know where to start.”Although college may be tricky at times, Peter still finds time to be in several event-planning groups, and is doing well in handling the stress of it all.
North Lakes prides themselves in being a college preparatory charter school. Peter believes they did a lot to help prepare him for college however that doesn’t mean they couldn’t improve in some areas. “NLA’s atmosphere of a close-knit family helped to make me feel more open and comfortable with myself, which is honestly really valuable in college. Especially in a big place like the U of Iowa, people don’t really care where you came from–it’s all about who you are, and how comfortable you are with yourself. I think NLA could have pushed the idea of going to college a little more. College has been an incredible experience for me, but I owe the fact that I came here more to my parents than to NLA. I think if NLA tried to encourage it more, maybe even have a program or two dedicated toward helping people get into college; that would definitely be helpful to future students.”
How does a tiny high school like NLA compare to a huge university such as the one Peter is attending? “Well, for starters [The U of Iowa] is exponentially larger. I‘ve had classes that have more people in them than NLA’s entire student body. THAT took some getting used to. Aside from that, they’re kind of hard to compare. College and high school are such different things, that trying to narrow down just HOW different they are would take quite a bit of time.”
Today Peter is still attending the University of Iowa. He admits, just as our past alumni had, that he is in debt and hopes to pay it off a quickly as possible. Peter wants all high school students to know this- “I highly recommend going to college, but also make sure you go to the one that is right for you. Don’t be afraid to follow your gut–sometimes it knows what’s best for you. Aside from that, be sure to explore as much as possible. The best time of your life is coming up, and you don’t want to miss out!”