Transitioning from high school to college should not be this hard

It’s a year marked by stresses, anxieties and confusions

Though freshman year of college is undoubtedly said to be the least difficult year in terms of academic challenges, it is definitely a year marked by avoidable stresses, anxieties and confusions. As a freshman myself, I can say that I have definitely found myself utterly perplexed in regards to figuring out how to maneuver not only the expectations for my classes, but also make sense of financial aid, figuring out an overarching plan for majors, and adjusting to the standards and independence laid out for the college community.

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Transitioning from the rather simple and considerable care-free vibes that encompass the environment, mindset and expectations of high school to the independent, fast-paced lifestyle of college is not only arduous but comes with many aspects that feel problematic. For myself, I felt very disconnected in terms of learning where I was to go to for different types of help. No longer were their guidance counselors that worked to help coordinate all aspects as was done in high school. Now there was a disparity and difficulty in figuring out which department or officials were responsible for tending to which needs and/or issues.

I myself was completely confused when trying to determine how to declare my majors, what courses to take, what policies existed in regards to the grades received for courses. I felt very stressed out, particularly during my first semester because I felt as though there was no one sense of guidance from the very beginning. It was helpful to ask family and peers about the steps to be taken when approaching a lot of the questions that I had, but it is essential that is not this difficult for freshmen. Adjusting to the workload and different type of scheduling in college is hard enough for many students, and the added pressure of trying to figure out who to reach out to for help only adds to the stress.

Though the first semester of freshman year, in theory, is structured and utilized as the transitionary semester, it is more often than not that the easily-accessible guidance diminished within the first few weeks of the semester. College is not only a change for students in terms of the various aspects of academia, but encompasses issues such as a change in home for many students, the added pressure of tuition and costs, as well as balancing jobs and academic work.

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It’s important to prioritize making the transition smoother because it will ultimately lead to academic success for students and make the years that follow easier so that students can focus on obtaining the desired degree. Though orientations are used to initially guide students, I feel that there should be more of an emphasis on keeping tabs on student to ensure that everyone completely comprehends how to address the issues they need as well as understand their expectations as well as how to fulfill them.

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Hunter College