Transitioning into College
By Darnysha Mitchell This is the combination that most incoming freshmen think about when they are picturing their first year of college. However, college is about preparing an individual for life after graduation. The transition from high school to college life can be difficult. According to U.S. News & World Report, “1 in 3 first-year students or more don’t return for their sophomore year of college.” Many students decide to take a semester off, get a job, or go to community college to finish their general education classes. In addition to this, College Atlas reports that 30% of college freshman drop out after their first year. Common reasons for these rates include loneliness, academic struggles, not being financially stable, personal issues at home, distracted by parties, and dissatisfaction with the school. According to Abby Sagher of Bottom Line, “Struggling in silence can be detrimental to academic performance, mental health, and physical well-being.” Here are three tips to consider for having a successful freshman year. Meet with your academic advisor - College advisors help you plan and register for classes, figure out how to cover your education costs using financial aid, find out about internship and job opportunities, and can help you choose a major if you’re undecided. Doing this can help you stay on track to graduate on time. Get involved in programs - Programs like TRiO and Bottom Line are free, non-profit programs that help students transition into college and guide them throughout their college career. They serve first-generation, low-income students who are attending two or four-year institutions. Both services provide mentoring, financial guidance, and assistance with a job search. Seek a tutor - Jaida Jude, a sophomore at Illinois State University, says, “I learned that asking for help isn’t a bad idea. When I saw that one of my grades was going down, I went to tutoring to help me understand the lesson more. I did some practice online that really did wonders for me. I met with my professor to get some one-on-one time so she could show me what I need to work on.” Failing a course means you have to retake it and pay out of pocket to make up those credit hours.