Jeff Stevens, the Toastmasters’ coach, held his annual alumni day August 12, 2014 at CBHS at which he brought back about 40 alums dating from 1988 to 2013 to advise the current students. Here are the questions he asked the alumni to answer and a summary of the advice provided to the current students.

  1. Tell us your name, what year you are at in college or work and the year you graduated from Camelback.
  2. How did you pay for college?
  3. Did your study habits change from High School to College? What did you have to do to overcome any obstacles or shortcomings?
  4. What is the one thing you wish you could have done to prepare for college and the workplace, when you were a Junior or Senior in High School?
  5. Do you have any personal stories or experiences you want to share?
  6. Imagine that you are sitting in the audience, same history, and same obstacles in your future. What would have been the most helpful advice for you to hear when you were age 16-18 year’s old, getting ready to leave Camelback?
  • Get involved with clubs
  • Keep your grades up
  • Take good notes
  • Utilize tutors
  • Write a good Personal Statement
  • Apply for scholarships as early as possible – even as a sophomore or junior in High School
  • Remember the future and stay focused on why you are in school
  • Make good choices
  • Make and keep good friends
  • Get college credit while in High School
  • Think about your profession and plan accordingly
  • Get to know your counselor – if you do not get along, get a new one!
  • Tell your story to as many people as you can
  • People will invest in you and believe in you
  • Believe in yourself
  • Understand and use time management
  • Learn to use a calendar
  • Get used to deadlines
  • Pay attention
  • Use resources that are available to you
  • Read the Book – “Do What You Are.”
  • Ask questions (no question is a stupid question)
  • Get a realistic degree
  • Take AP courses
  • Use the 20-40-60 rule (see below)*
  • Use “Rate My”
  • Take classes seriously
  • Be your own cheerleader
  • Get a Mentor
  • Live at home as long as you can
  • Stay away from “For Profit” schools
  • Get grants not loans – if you have to get a loan get a Federally Insured Student Loan (FISL)
  • Adjust your schedule around when YOU are the most productive and creative
  • Understand that the biggest cause of roommate conflicts is a failure to communicate


*The ’20-40-60 Rule’ is:

  • At 20 years of age, you care about what everybody thinks.
  • At 40 years of age, you don’t care about what anybody thinks.
  • At 60 years of age, you realize that people were not thinking about you to begin with!!