Nearly two dozen Lehighton Area High School graduates spoke to current students during the annual National Honor Society Winter Social.

Matthew Fisher, NHS advisor and a high school teacher, welcomed everyone and explained that the high school has been holding the Winter Social for nearly a decade as a way to help the students learn what to expect after graduation.

"This is to benefit the students," Fisher said of the social. "It's beneficial to have programs like this because the students get the opportunity to talk with their former classmates and learn important information that will help them succeed in college."

During the informal event on Monday afternoon, which was held in the cafeteria of the high school, the recent graduates, who are now attending colleges across the country, talked about their experiences with college life, education and activities, and provided the current National Honor Society students with some advice about how to prepare for the change from high school senior to college freshman.

The college freshmen and sophomores first introduced themselves and told the students where they were attending college. They then fielded questions from Samantha Cerimele, NHS president.

Some of the topics that the panel discussed included how they decided on their college; if Lehighton High School prepared them for college life; what high school classes prepared them best; dealing with roommates; how they spend their free time; and more.

Many of the recent graduates provided helpful insight into the real life of college and explained that if they want to succeed, they need to be well-rounded individuals, meaning get involved in extra-curricular activities or clubs in addition to classes. This, the panel agreed, will help overall because it helps build friendships and networks for the future.

They also explained that living away from home can be hard, especially if you and your roommate clash in interests. But, there are people, such as the resident advisors and counselors who can help you get through the changes so that you can be happy and make the most out of a college experience.

As the Q&A wrapped up, the recent graduates stressed one important element that will help students achieve their goals, time management.

Following the panel session, the NHS members mingled with their college friends, talking about what they learned and see what secrets could be shared.