When I was in high school I thought that college, even a community college, would be different. It is not. You still have the same stupid cliques, the same stupid drama, and the same types of teachers. The actors do get weirder though. No real big surprise there. There is a bit more freedom in what you study and what you do, but your peers will still pressure you into NOT joining some stupid club, or voting for student body president. Another thing that gets weirder in college is the locker rooms. Trust me, nothing quite makes your morning go south than a naked old woman showering in the locker room. Gross. But nothing is as awesome as a HOT shower after dance class. You will meet some amazing professors and students though. There are still people out there that you should try and talk to, because they can be facinating. That self-proclaimed "compositionist" English teacher? He has some amazing ideas. That weird girl that wears the collar? She is really smart and funny. Talk to people and place judgements aside. Your college experience will be much better for having done so.
Through attending Augustana College, I have been presented with opportunities vast. I have gotten the chance to do research in the chemistry lab with our NMR instrument, something that if I were going to a different school, I would not even be able to dream of having the chance to do. I have gotten to know my professors and vice versa – something that I thought was virtually impossible. Being at a small college, the professor’s doors are always open and you can just walk in, you don’t need an appointment. This way, the professors can get to know you as an individual, not just as a number. Being at Augie, I have made connections that I had no idea even existed. I’ve been opened to the world and have had opportunity upon opportunity thrown at me. There is definitely no time to be bored at school, there is so much to do and so much to experience! I am so privileged to be able to attend Augie, the people and the professors are absolutely amazing and want nothing more than to see you succeed and being in an environment like that is a recipe for success.
The classes that teachers told me would prepare me for college weren't necessarily always the best to take. Any student to who is responsible and can take school seriously will be able to handle college. Instead of taking classes that were "college preperatory" I would have taken more classes that offered actual college credit. Classes such as AP or even college classes that were offered through the school would have been much more advantageous. As far as extra-curriculars were concerned I would have participated less. Teachers kept telling us if we wanted to get into a good college we needed a million extra-curriculars. Extra-curriculars are good to a point. There are too many kids working a job, playing 3 sports, and in the school play. When I was in high school I should have kept more time for myself. Live life and have fun with friends. There will always be another cause and another organization to join. My high school friends and memories came and went too fast. The relationships in life are what makes it sweet. I wish I could go back and savor those nostalgic moments.
If I were to travel back in time and have an insightful conversation with my high school self, I believe I'd have much advice to give myself. Someone going to college can choose a couple different paths, they can be 100% fully dedicated to their education and study 24/7, they can party all the time making many new friends but do extremely poorly in their classes, or they can get involved in the fun and safe activities taking place on campus as well as spending ample time with their studies. That is the best road to take. Get involved as much as you can, meet new people, do fun things, however do not spread yourself too thin, and make sure you still have ample time for your education. When I first started, I wanted to be involved in everything, musicals, clubs, etc. and I held down two jobs and pulled good grades. Although that was a blast and I loved it, I was absolutely exhausted and stressed out. Therefore, my official advice would be encouragement to get involved with campus activities, however still make ample time for education and to not try to do too many things.
As a sophomore at Augustana, I have gotten a lot out of the one and a half years I have had the opportunity to attend this college. Not only have I been challeged academically, but because it is a private college that differs from my own personal faith, I have been challeged spiritually as well. As I attend a liberal arts college I have learned to keep an open mind through all my classes, and have really been allowed to explore and question things that I am being taught. I have also learned that when things don't always go your way, perseverance is important. As a collegiate athlete it has been difficult to balance my time between academics, soccer, and the social aspect of college. But, majority of my friends are on my soccer team, and these friendships will last long into the future. The Augustana community is looked highly upon throughout the region and will allow me to get a great job in the medical field once I graduate. Attending Augustana has allowed me to become a well rounded individual so that I can positively impact others as I go on to a future career.
Dear Learning Leah, College is an extremely hard transition. It takes time. Don't waste precious hours worrying about if things won't work out. Get ready for some mental breakdowns, and know that you are not the only freshman going through it, even if you feel like a crazy person. You may not find that group of friends right away, but they are out there. Your other high school friends care about you, but they are also moving on with their lives. You really don't need a boyfriend, especially a freshman. Focus on your school work. This will not come as easily to you as it did in high school. It is difficult, but all of the hard work pays off. Those not so wonderful eating habits will turn out to take their toll on you. Working out is actually fun, you should try it sometime. Don't be surprised when you change your major three times in the first semester. Follow your passion, not what people think you should become. I would really try to get as much sleep as possible, whenever you can. Stay active, involved, and Have so much fun! Love, Doing Well Leah
Starting college classes was a shock. I had expected the transition to be easier because I had consistently taken college classes in high school. I was wrong. At home, I had a mother who told me to do my homework and a stepfather who told me when to go to bed. In my dorm room, there was no one but me. My classes were fast-paced and the teachers were unfamiliar. It was terrifying. I was completely unprepared for how much time that I had to spend studying. Now, I've never been a person for motivational speeches. They bore me, sounding overly rehearsed and insincere. That being said, I have always been one to rise to a challenge and perform well under pressure. I hear so many people say, "things will get better," or "just hang in there." That doesn't work on me. If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself that it gets so much harder. I would tell myself to start developing good study skills and practice god time management, because after graduation, life gets much more complicated. This would have been my motivation.
Remembeing what it felt like as a high school senior, it seemed like I could never get enough information about college life. Knowing what I do now, I would give my high school self three pieces of advice. First, college classes are harder than high school classes because they are meant to push you. Teachers give the advice to manage your time and prioritize and in college, it is needed to take that advice in order to accomplish all your homework. Schedule a daily time in order to study for a specific class. You will be thankful when test time comes because you are already that much more prepared and ahead of the game. Another important thing is that it does not pay to stress out. Take it day by day, or even hour by hour if needed, when getting reading for college and transitioning to the college life. It makes a big difference in how you handle your situations. Thirdly, do not be afraid or too shy to go out and try something new. College is a great time to be bold and get out of your comfort zone. You may stumble upon something that you really like.
High school was the stepping stone to my career. Taking high school more seriously could have helped me out instead of slacking. When it came time to transition to college, summer shouldnt be an exucse to slack off either. Instead, I encourage students to keep their brains up to date. Simply complete math problems, rent pratice books from the local libary, and even contact your professors to get a heads up on what they will be teaching. College is all about determination and planning. During the transition have a plan mapped out such as money to spend in food, communting or living on campus, and what career path will that student pick. Be determined to be the best of all your classmates, stand out to your professors on the grading scale. All future college students should understand advancing onto college will predict whether they achieve high expectations in life or work at a grocery store for the rest of their life. The transition to college is about becoming someone, shaping a child to a well rounded knowledgable adult ready to tackle the real world.
Since I've started college back in Clermont Florida I've felt that it was an amazing experience. The Professors didn't treat us like small children, and my favorite Professor actually helped me choose the degree in which I wish to pursue. However, since I started my college experience at the beginning of our economic recession my family wasn’t able to afford sending me to a four year college. I feel that I’ve missed part of the experience of being in college due to not being about to live away from home. I hope that I’ll be able to achieve this through some scholarships and work. Besides not feeling like I’ve experienced to true purpose of college due to money issues, my Professor has helped me decide the career path. I’m hoping to transfer into a four year college next semester and work towards a doctoral degree for Archeology. This was the greatest experience I’ve had in college, being able to work towards a career that I’ll love and to fulfill my dreams, having this option is possibly one of the greatest things I could have wished for from college.