The beginning of summer marks a time of celebration for high school seniors. While crossing the stage to receive diplomas the thought of college is foremost on minds. As fall approaches, the transition to college life becomes a reality.
This can be a scary time, especially if you move from states away like I did. I am a freshman at MU, originally from Texas, and experiencing a transition by moving states, towns and schools was a lot for one summer.
CheyAnne Neilson, freshman biological sciences major, agreed that leaving behind dependable parents and lifelong friends was the hardest thing to overcome. On top of moving schools she and her family moved towns, from Kansas City to Harrisonville, to be closer to MU. However, it is still too far for comfort for her.
“There is no longer mom or dad to give you extra money or get you to school on time,” Neilson said.
College life has been an independency adjustment for Neilson. No parents are in charge and no teacher tells you to do homework. Also, budgeting is a major change without constant cash flow. Neilson’s high school best friend attends MU so having him here has helped her transition.
“Once you’re thrown in (to college), it is a sink or swim situation,” Neilson said. “Naturally you try and stay afloat but sometimes you just have to go with the current.”
After talking with CAFNR Director of Career Services, Stephanie Chipman, I learned that moving to a new community with new people is the greatest challenge students face entering college. I knew exactly what she was talking about.
“Shrink Mizzou down a little,” Chipman said. “Get connected with your particular school for example, CAFNR, or join a club or organization to fulfill you and get you more comfortable with your surroundings.
Chipman gave five tips to assist students with the transition from high school to college. First form a study group, which will help you to understand college level material. Secondly enroll in AFNR 1115 ‘foundations for college success’ if you are struggling in your first year.
I have taken Chipman’s advice and formed a study group within each of my classes, which has helped me acclimate to college classwork. The third piece of advice is to visit the Student Success Center to get your college life on track early. Next, communicate with your professor by making appointments for tutoring or through email communication. Finally, Chipman encourages students to meet their advisers.
I agree with Chipman, talking with your professors is vital. I was nervous to first introduce myself to my professors, but they made it very easy and I realized they are not as intimidating as I first thought.
“We (faculty members) can help with a lot of various things and we genuinely love meeting with our students,” Chipman said.
As a high school senior, waiting to graduate and begin college felt like forever to finally come. Adjusting to roommates has been my greatest challenge in the transition from high school to college. But, by staying myself, my roommates have accepted me for who I am.
I am now ready for four years of college life and am confidently looking toward the next graduation stage to pursue my dreams.