Concordia Shanghai Dec 8 2023

Graduates from Concordia Class of '23 Share First-year College Experiences

Another college application season is in full swing, and our seniors have busy putting the final touches on their applications or eagerly awaiting early acceptances. This got us thinking about our Class of ’23 graduates, who are now in the midst of their first college year.

So, we caught up with a few from our "Road to College” series to learn about their transition to university life and to hear about some of their favorite spots on their new campuses.

Yoyo Zou - Williams College



“College has been great so far! The first month was so hectic and there were definitely times where I’ve felt homesick, but overall it’s been an incredible experience.
My favorite spots on campus are the fourth floor of the Sawyer Library, Frosh Quad on sunny days, and the Environmental Center!  
Williams College has so many amazing resources to help first-year students acclimate to college; personally I've felt that IWS (integrative well-being services) and WOOLF (an outdoors orientation program) have helped me settle in, make friends, and start to feel at home.” 

Yoyo intends to major in philosophy with a concentration in law and justice studies. With an incredibly helpful professor and student activities for pre-law students, she can’t wait to see what the next few years at Williams will bring.    

Residing in a vast and diverse campus, Ellie has thoroughly enjoyed meeting new people, broadening her perspectives. She also stays connected with friends from Concordia, making her college transition much smoother.  

Read Yoyo's Road to College Story


Ellie Wang - University of California San Diego


“Being in such a huge and diverse campus has opened my eyes to so many new perspectives. The Geisel Library at UCSD is such a great study spot! Each floor has its own volume and expectations, so you can always find a place that’s perfect for your needs in the moment. We also have a beach on campus, so that’s super fun! And of course — Starbucks.” 

With aspirations to be a future change-maker in the Political Science world, Ellie is majoring in Political Science with a minor in Theatre, further pursuing her passions and interests.

Read Ellie's Road to College Story


Joe Liang - University Virginia


In a video he shares, Joe shows the Rotunda and the Lawn (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Ruth Caplin Theatre, Scott Stadium,and the vibrant student life at UVA. College for him is not so different from high school thanks to the accommodating environment of UVA.  

“Initially, I joined an Asian student mentorship program, and having been paired up with an upperclassman was really helpful in navigating the first few scary weeks of college. My mentor is also in the Architecture School, so her discussing her experience through college greatly helped my anxiety for school life ahead.”

Thanks to all his AP credits being usable at UVA, Joe has room to experiment and see which direction he wants to go in. He will likely stay with Urban Planning and double major in something else.

Read Joe's Road to College Story


It's always great to hear back from our graduates. There are more updates from our alumni to come, so stay tuned!