Transitioning into College


Zakkiyah Wilkerson 

School: University of Hartford Year: Sophomore

Major: Psychology

Do you think students graduate high school and just easily enter college? It’s not easy; it can be the biggest step in life for a teenager. Take it from me; I thought going to college would be the easiest thing ever to do. I anticipated the day I entered college my whole life and it finally came; it was like magic how it happened so fast. The first time l I started running out of groceries and couldn’t stand to continue eating cafeteria food with meal plans, I realized I was on my own. I caught myself consistently checking social networks of my friends back home to see what they were up to. I knew I had to get through this somehow. Entering college is preparation for the real adulthood world. Transitioning from high school to college is not like living at home and attending school. You have to adapt to the campus lifestyle by your lonesome, or with a few friends. To make a transition from high school to college, the freshman student needs to adjust to meeting new friends, balancing expenses, and organizing academic work outside and/or in classes.

First, freshman students often miss being home with their friends and get home sick. You need to adjust to making new friends and stay focused. Homesickness can be distracting for students because all they worry about is what is going on at home. To avoid distractions, interact with other students and make new friends. Intermingle with students that have majors similar to yours. When you meet people with the same major as yours, you may learn that you all have a lot in common. You’ll also learn that person can be your friend through your whole years of college. Maybe you’ll have the same classes with them so you can form study groups. Study groups help improve your academic performance because everyone can help each other out. For example, my weakest subject is history and I started off doing badly in global history. I studied and did all my homework; but once I seen my first failing test grade, I had to change something to improve. I decided to form a study group with the students living on my floor that took up the same global history class.

Second, balancing your expenses and that comes with making sacrifices. Once you’re tired of the cafeteria food you move onto buying fast foods. Realize that your funds are limited when you enter college. You have to be aware of what you are spending your money on because you need money to buy books for class, and survive on your own.  Balancing your expenses is an example of responsibility. I was spending about $100 a week for Chinese food, Dominoes and Pizza Hut. By the end of the week I realized that all my money that my mom was sending me was going to food. Then when I wanted to go shopping, I had no money. I understood that I had to continue using my meal swipes and stop eating out so that I could save money.

Lastly, as a freshman you have too learn to organize all your academic work outside of classrooms. The professors are not babysitting you. For example, I had a situation where I went to history class and I was clueless about the homework handed out in the previous class. The professor told me “It is your responsibility to sign onto blackboard and check the homework yourself.” Ever since then, I would go onto blackboard and make sure I handed in all the homework that was due. You are accountable for getting all work done and handing it in to the professors. The professors are expecting you the next day to interpret what you read in classroom discussions. This is counted as homework and class participation. It’s your choice to strive for an A or F.

Break out the bad habits that you are used to from high school. Get adjusted to making new friends. You’re entering a whole new real world as a freshman in college. Take responsibility for all your work. It’s your choice how you want to transition from high school into college. You’re finally on your own and now you have to take control and responsibility of your life. Mommy and high school friends cannot make life choices for you.


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