For first-year students, college is a foreign culture. The freshman adjustment is a process that many new students aren’t accustomed to.
Some students are aware of the new journey they’re about to endure which often leaves them with a feeling of anxiousness, nervousness and sometimes happiness.
Some students may find that the adjustment comes fairly easily – they hardly realize that it is happening. Other students find the process difficult, slow and even overbearing at times.
For many students enrolled in the Education Opportunity Program at Plattsburgh, being able to start the summer earlier than most freshman provides them with a positive advantage.
“Adjusting to college has been a little difficult. There has been many opportunities that the school has given me in order to make sure my transition from high school to college would not be so rough,” said, a freshman double majoring in business and accounting from Manhattan, New York Zafarou Tandiogora. “Opportunities such as EOP Summer 2017, Accepted Students’ Day, and the town hall meetings every Friday for the EOP students in every grade has really helped me.”
The biggest factor of this transition for freshmen is having to live a new life without their parents being around all the time and having to prioritize their time accordingly.
“There are still many things that I am learning to adjust to,” Tandiogora said. ”Things such as not having my mother around to wake me up, and running to the other end of campus for a class that starts in 10 minutes.”
According to The American Freshman Survey, Students who felt depressed were also more likely to report being disengaged from school.
“My biggest fear during the transition to college has always been about leaving my family and leaving the city,” Tandiogora said. “Even though I’m still learning to deal with the burden of not being around my family they all feel like it was one of the best decisions that I’ve made.”
As time progresses, students begin to fear how different everything really is. That fear eventually turns into frustration and annoyance when realizing how different this experience is from high school and how much work it takes to manage within this new environment.
Freshman Victor Ramon was juggling both anticipation and fear.
“My biggest fear of coming to college was failing classes or falling behind. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to understand and complete the work,” he said. “I was always told that high school didn’t really prepare students for college. I feel that my professors have helped me with that by reassuring that while the work isn’t easy as long as you stay on top of your work, you should be fine.”
As many first-year students persevere through the first week, many of them eventually accept their new life at college. They begin to feel integrated into the experience. The biggest transition is understanding what and who is involved in their new life.
During the college experience, freshmens have people around them who are here to help make their transition as easy as possible. Professors, advisers and resident assistants works side by side with first year students to guide them in the right path during their new journey.
PSUC Resident Assistant and senior Lionel Petion ensures his freshmen residents that all the emotions they are going through is completely normal.
“I help freshmen overcome their fears of first year experience by just letting them know that I went through the same things they’re going through,” he said. “I tell them that they are going to be OK and explain to them what resources are available on campus.”
The freshman adjustment may take some time and as a Resident, Assistant Petion is aware of how much he can help them.
“There are so much things to do in the beginning of the fall semester that would make the freshmen feel like they are home,” Petion said.
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