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First semester of freshman year is usually remembered as the most challenging, stressful, and life changing time of a young adults life.

For most, the transition of leaving the comfort of mom and dad’s house, good food, and their own bedroom into the jungle of shared bedrooms, bathrooms, dining hall food and a dorm building full of strangers proves very difficult. The education for many first semester freshman is mostly not found in the classroom but in the daily life of being a college student.

Whether you’re a student-athlete, a science major, a business major, or an English major the struggle to maintain academic focus and personal sanity is a full-time job.

“Your first semester of college teaches you what and what not to do for the rest of your college career,” said College of Saint Rose freshman John Lantz.

One of the biggest pitfalls many freshman run into is the issue of procrastination. Everyone has done it or will do it in their college career and it is often the root problem to the downfall of many a student.

“Procrastination is something everyone needs to take seriously and school is definitely something everyone needs to experience,” said MCLA freshman Liv Repula.

For student athletes, it often means early mornings and very late nights. Between practices, workouts, classes, homework, and down time, it can be difficult for many to understand just how these athletes do it.

For freshman lacrosse player, Jake Files, the key is simply “time management and commitment.” Fellow Saint Rose athlete, Anna Carey added, “Whatever time I have is devoted to softball or schoolwork. I usually am always busy.”

From the get-go, academic life proves to be much different from high school. Classes are longer, the professors are more intense, the homework is harder, and the expectations are higher. For some it just means getting homework finished as soon as it’s assigned or prioritizing assignments based on level of difficulty.

For SUNY Plattsburgh freshman, Justin Houser, academic pride was found in learning “how to publicly give a formal speech.”

As much as high school is hyped to be “the greatest four years of your life,” college proves itself to be the real deal. Truth be told, when you take a look at what college has to offer between classes and the vast array of clubs, associations, honors societies, internships, intramural sports, and campus events the opportunities available to college students exceeds that of the average high school student.

Opportunities to gain experiential wisdom and common sense abound in college. The most crucial time to learn and gain is first semester. Even if you feel as though your semester is one big blur, if you take the time to think about it, you will no doubt find at least one thing you’ve learned that will make your subsequent years of school that much more memorable.

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