Adjusting to Change: High School to College

    You never thought it would happen; high school is over. The days of 8 am to 3 pm classes and nasty cafeteria food seemed to never end. However, you made it through and you’re now on your way to bigger, better adventures. Some people may feel anxious about the big move but, for the most part it’s all excitement. What lies ahead for you? 

    When college is brought up, the thoughts of parties and classes come to mind. High school students are told to work their hardest toward the goal of college, but what’s next? No one coaches them on what to do past graduation. This can be especially challenging for first-year students. Yes, you register for classes, but how do you know what classes to take? 

    You’ll hear the phrase “academic advisor” more times than can be counted throughout college. It’s a common mistake to not utilize the advisor assigned to you, though. You can only steer your way through college for so long until you get lost. Your advisor is your GPS. They are able to map out your entire four years of college in one sitting and all you have to do is apply yourself. As a freshman coming into college, you’re given more freedom academically and in life. It’s easy to get off track, but accept the help provided around you for an extra boost. 

   While advisors are great, there are some tips that they may forget. For example, there’s a way to schedule your classes that will set you up for failure. We all wish we were morning people. However, not all of us are able to get up at 8 am every day for classes. When scheduling your classes, you should be realistic. If you aren’t used to getting up at 8 am and tend to go to bed at 2 am every night, perhaps a later schedule is best for you. 

   An important thing to remember as you navigate through college is the choices you make now can affect how the next few years fall. That does sound intimidating, but look at it from a positive light. The simple decision of going to an event on campus could introduce you to new people, new interests, and new opportunities. Getting involved and socially active around campus is the best way to maximize your time in college; the people and the experiences you find now can follow you through the rest of your life. Look into joining Greek Life, Residential Life, Campus Life, etc.. College has over 100 organizations created to embrace any interests and hobbies you hold. Try stepping outside of your shell and exploring different options; you may find family outside of the campus life. 

   As Hannah Montana once said, “Life is what you make”, as is college. There will be challenges thrown your way and you’ll face new stresses. While it can be discouraging, don’t succumb to the pressure. Be open and accepting to the help offered around campus like your academic advisor. Not all of the help around you is going to be obvious, however. Campus life can open new doors for you socially and academically. The people you meet can help guide you through college in ways advisors may not. Once you apply yourself and accept the changes coming, you’ll be on your way to bigger, better adventures! Here’s to a successful first year!