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Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

Three Portola Pilot Alumni ‘Soar’ Through College Using Valuable Pilot Experiences

As the time of year approaches when college applications are at a frenzy and stress levels reach their climax, many students may find it difficult to envision the end. Here are three Portola Pilot alumni who have finished their high school race and are journeying through the often intimidating waters of college.

Former sports section editor and UCI freshman majoring in biological sciences, Arnav Chandan uses collaboration skills, writing techniques and moral standards developed through the Portola Pilot throughout his college classes. His experience from Pilot prepared him for unfamiliar class environments, according to Chandan. 

“Pilot made me just more open towards other people’s ideas,” Chandan said. “Just the idea that the work that I create is definitely not perfect, but it can work towards that sense of perfection when I get edits from other people.”

Chandan’s work in the Pilot often required extensive collaboration with members of the community, which is a highly prioritized skill in college.

“It was the first time where I received systematic feedback from a class consistently, and I think that form of systematic feedback is definitely relevant in college level classes,” Chandan said. “I think it’s necessary to implement the feedback that your professors give you, and then use that to create change and better your work.”

Much like Chandan, former features editor and freshman IVC human development major Cara Chan utilizes the time-management skills and familiarity with the newspaper writing process that she learned in Pilot to write for her school’s bimonthly honors newsletter. Her love of writing about people drew her to her major in the first place, according to Chan. 

“Being in Pilot, especially being the features editor, really just affirmed my love of working with and learning about people and I also really loved STEM, so my major of human development just combined the two,” Chan said. 

Her familiarity with feature stories also helps her when she writes student features for the newsletter.

“The process for writing a newsletter is the same as it was during Pilot, same format, same AP style,” Chan said. “I learned how to manage my time better, when to contact people for interviews, like how many days before my deadline I should ask them. Because of that, I was able to get my story in early and streamline the editing process.”

Former co-managing editor, Harvard social studies and philosophy major and college sophomore Ryan Jung also uses the writing and communicative skills developed in Pilot in college. Being pushed to contribute new ideas, hold himself and others accountable and receive and give feedback helped him become a strong team member in his community and extracurriculars, according to Jung. 

“The approach to writing in Pilot, the constant feedback and just us as a community working to produce good work made me seek similar communities and made me more eager to implement the feedback I was given by classmates and professors,” Jung said. 

Similarly, Jung credits a lot of the collaborative and interactive knowledge he has now to his experience as a managing editor in Pilot. His role’s responsibilities included checking up on writers and keeping them accountable for their deadlines, which helped him participate in similar activities after high school. 

“Previously, I used to be more concerned with keeping myself accountable, but I realized with being a former co-managing editor that working to keep others accountable on deadlines too is just as important especially since we’re a team working together,” Jung said. “I tried exploring ways to this during my time at Pilot by trying to create a system so we would have less late work, and because of the environment and culture here at Portola where leadership, the students and Ms. Rapp supported me on this, I was able to try out new ideas, which I could implement now.”

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About the Contributors
Stephanie Hwang, Assistant News Editor
Stephanie Hwang is the Assistant News Editor for her first year on Portola Pilot. This year, she hopes to connect with Portola Pilot members and learn all that she can. When she’s not playing indie games or attempting to monopolize the cafeteria’s daily supply of vinegar chips, Stephanie can be found trying to finish all the new books she’s been collecting. Or lamenting about her upcoming tests.
Hannah Ko, Assistant Opinion Editor
Hannah Ko is the assistant Opinion Editor for her second year on the Portola Pilot. This year, she is looking forward to depriving herself from sleep and growing gray hairs from stressing about her classes. Outside of the classroom, you can most likely find her either sleeping, talking, listening to music or shopping.
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