College Freshman Advice

Tim Skeval and AJ Ortega

Staff Writers

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As Jamesville-DeWitt High School says goodbye to 2017 and hello to 2018, seniors are beginning to see the end of their high school careers. The J-DHS class of 2018 will soon be embarking on the next step in their lives: college. As the 2017-2018 J-DHS school year reaches the halfway mark, seniors are beginning to look past high school to college.

The J-DHS class of 2017, who graduated last year, now have a full semester of college under their belts and are back for holiday break. Who better to help future college kids prepare for college other than those who are currently going through it?

The best piece of advice J-DHS graduate and college freshman Thomas Edson, who attends Ithaca College, has to offer is to “get the unlimited meal plan.”

The jump from high school to college is arguably one of the most difficult adjustments for teenagers to make. “Academically, JD prepared me really well for college since teachers expect what college professors expect,” said Edson.

College is different than high school in that college students experience more freedoms then high schoolers do. That is J-DHS graduate and college freshman Matt Cappelletti’s favorite part about being in college. “All the freedoms I didn’t have in high school, like making my own choices (in regards to classes and everyday activities outside of school), I now have in college,” said Cappelletti, who attends Hamilton College. J-DHS graduates and college freshman Casey Kretsch, who attends Le Moyne College, and Ian Crawford agree with Cappelletti. “Having more freedoms is the best part, I think,” said Crawford, who attends Wells College.

Another freedom college freshman experience is making their own schedule. For the first time freshman rely completely on themselves to plan out their days and class schedules. “There’s a lot more freedom and I’m able to create my schedule so that I can take more classes that interest me,” said J-DHS graduate and college freshman Maddie Scullion, who attends SUNY Geneseo.  

Another big difference J-DHS seniors will have to adjust to in college is the living arrangements. In college, dorm life is a new and different reality for many incoming freshman. “Dorm life is a lot different compared to high school life,” said Edson, “you will more than likely share a space with at least one other person.” This is something that could be new to incoming freshman and can take a bit of time to adjust to. Freshman have to be prepared to make some sacrifices and adjustments while getting used to the college life. “You have to be comfortable around other people and be able to change a few things about how you live,” said Kretsch, “but you also have to be able to just go about your daily activities.”

With all these newfound freedoms come immense responsibility. “For the first time you’re on your own,” said Scullion, “you have to be responsible or else you won’t do well.” College adjustment can be difficult but many freshman catch on quickly with a little time and effort. “My adjustment to college life just sort of happened.” said Scullion, “As the weeks went on I got into the swing of things.”

Branching out is one way that can help freshmen adjust to life in college. “Don’t be afraid to talk to people,” said Edson. There are many activities and events at the start of freshman year that are encouraged by the colleges that are aimed to get freshman out there, meet new people, and help them feel more comfort in college. “I was able to adjust pretty quickly,” said Edson, “ I was part of a program where I moved in three days early and did activities with other freshman so I was able to get used to college living before everyone poured onto campus.”

College is a new experience that could frighten many current seniors looking to expand their wings in college next year. With everything colleges and current college students offer to help future college freshman, college is set up to be what every current senior looks forward to heading into next year and possibly even more.