News & Features, September 2017

Staff offers transition tips to freshmen

The beginning of the new school year is an opportunity to make new friends, learn from new professors, meet new teammates, and experience new adventures. But for the Class of 2021, it is also a new chapter in life that can also be scary and intimidating.

College life can be fun and interesting but the transition from high school to college can be difficult. The Falcon Forum spoke to some freshman to see how they are handling their new experiences.

For many, being in a new environment is exciting but they miss a lot about where they came from. Angela Gutierrez, an international freshman from Honduras and majoring in accounting, misses her family the most.

“I miss my family because they make me feel good,” Gutierrez said. “They are always asking me how I am doing, and they are always there for me.”

Gregory Matthews, an exercise science major from Memphis, Tennessee, also misses his family. “We did a lot of things together and I just miss being able to do those things with them,” he said. “It is nice seeing them on FaceTime but it’s not quite the same.”

While there is a lot of opportunity to meet new people, that is not easy for everyone. Gutierrez admitted that it is not easy for her to meet new people. “I am really quiet and shy so when I meet someone new, it’s hard for me to make a conversation,” she said.

Many freshmen find it difficult to get used to the difference between the teaching styles and curriculum between high school and college. Iyana Harrison, a political science major originally from New Jersey, has experienced this.

“College is more responsibility – a new environment, and more challenging,” Harrison said. “In college, you have to look for professors; they are not going to be looking for you.”

A higher level of responsibility is needed in college, Matthews agreed. He recalled an experience where a lesson ended early.  “It was different since the teacher dismissed the class and then I had all this free time,” he said.

Based on interviews with freshmen and guidance from faculty, The Falcon Forum offers these tips for dealing with the transition from high school to college:

* Don’t forget that professors and advisors offer office hours so that they can help with any academic problems or concerns that you may have. Every instructor should have office hours posted on his or her office door and on the course syllabus, which is posted in CAMS.

* Get to know all of the resources that are available. For instance, Saint Augustine’s University has a Writing Center (in the Boyer Building) to help with papers and other assignments, an Enrollment Management and Career Services (in Hunter) to help with career advice, and a Counseling & Psychological Services (on Oakwood Avenue) to help with any emotional or psychological problems

* Take advantage of technology; it is a great tool to stay in touch with the people you love.

* Join extracurricular activities – they are a great way to meet people and to be a part of campus life.

* Don’t be afraid of being yourself – you have as much right to be here as anyone else!

Harrison is already becoming comfortable on campus. A big help for her was joining the Choir and Student Ambassadors, which helped her meet more people on campus. “I’ve run into people of different beliefs, nationalities, and mindsets, which is definitely great,” she said.

— Jeydri Urbina