Transition from High School to College

When you receive that high school diploma, you have lots of emotions. From satisfaction, excitement and determination to move to next the next chapter in your life. Within the month of June, even into July, it was a time of celebration. Celebrating graduating high school, and celebrating the next chapter in our lives. For me, it was celebrating that it was time to pursue my journey at SUNY Geneseo.

First-year college students all start with confidence. Many with expectations, but for most, their experiences do not match up with what they initially intended.

In high school, my senior year, we read the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare. Our teacher gave us a packet that we had to keep for the ongoing weeks as we read and went over the play. Our teacher started the lesson of Hamlet by introducing us to the characters and setting before we got into reading. We read as a class, breaking down the lines and the chapters as we went. Our english teacher would tell us and explain the meaning for each part of the play, we were receiving his take on the play. This was how we did every play and novel throughout the year. I was receiving A’s and understood everything we were doing in class. I loved reading and writing on the pieces of work by William Shakespeare and many others. When it came time to pick a concentration for elementary education I knew english was the way I wanted to go.

After the first day, of my first college english class, I was still full of confidence. The time came where I had to start my first play and that’s when it hit. Realization that college was much different than high school when I read the first lines in the play Bacchae. “Newly arrived in this land of Thebes, I am Dionysus, son of Zeus, whom Semele, child of Cadmus, once bore, delivered by lightning-flame” (page 128 lines 1-3). I had new names and words thrown at me all at once. I realized I no longer had a packet to look back on, I didn’t have research on the background of the story done for me, and I now had to have my own interpretation of each line and plot in the play. What was challenging about this, was I have never had to do anything like this before, by myself, and I had to get it done.

I knew I was going to have to make adjustments going from high school to college, but the problem that many freshman are hit was are all new adjustments all at once. In high school for our homework and assignments in class we used limited technology, and the assignments were handed in, in class or in person (like my packet for Hamlet). Now in college I have seen first hand you have to manage various files, outside of the class, and be able to find assignments and material through canvas. Teacher no longer guide you every step of the way with time, your schedule, or thoughts on books and plays. You now must take ownership of time management and be able to break down material on your own.

When you are stressed over the workload, time management, or just confusion overall with what you are learning you must try and solves these issues for yourself. I have came up with a series of questions that I use to help me get through this time of challenges going from high school to college:

  1. What are both, short and long term goals you have in academics and socially?
  2. What courses do you find difficult, and in what ways are the challenging you?
  3. If you are struggling, how are you going to handle the problem?
  4. In what ways do you need to change your style of learning and study habits from high school to college?

Everyone, at one point or another runs into stressful situations with not knowing content, not understanding, or just get stressed with the mount of work they have due. The key is, everyone must realize they are struggling and figure out what they need to do to fix this situation. Whether it be taking with a professor, getting a tutor, or just cracking down on the books. My time is now to figure the best strategy is in order to transition from high school to college.

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