College readiness … from an emotional standpoint

Many+high+school+students+are+anxious+to+move+on+to+college%2C+but+not+all+are+emotionally+prepared.

Natalie Dumin

Many high school students are anxious to move on to college, but not all are emotionally prepared.

Brooke Beichler, Staff Writer

High school students spend years taking classes that will help them tackle the struggles of college courses. However, according to one national survey, most freshmen are unprepared for campus life in one important way: emotionally.

According to The First-Year College Experience, most first-year college students who felt less emotionally prepared for college when compared to their peers had lower GPAs and were four times more likely to describe their first year experience as “terrible/poor.”

Some Bellwood-Antis high schoolers believe they are ready. Others feel differently.

“I do think I am emotionally ready for college,” said junior Nick Antonelle.  “College is a lot like high school. You go to school for four years and then you graduate. There will be a lot more work to do, but that’s not a challenge for me. Sure, I’ll miss my friends and family, but I have my own life to fulfill.”

Junior Lydia Eamigh viewed the prospects of college with a bit more apprehension.

“I don’t want to face the reality that I’m leaving high school and growing up,” said Lydia. “I know I can handle the responsibility, but it’s just scary to think I may not see my closest friends again. I am excited to learn more and see new things, but I’m also sad to let my familiar, easy life go.”

Many B-A alumni going through the college process view freshman year as a wake-up call.

Caroline Taylor, a freshman at IUP, thought that she was ready for college when she graduated.

“I didn’t realize how huge of a change it really would be,” said Caroline Taylor. “You have to discipline yourself a lot more in college.

Caroline Showalter, a freshman at Mount Aloysius, also thought she was ready.

“With playing sports in high school, balancing homework and a social life, I thought when I got to college it would be easier. I was wrong though,” she said. “It became a constant cycle of go to class, do homework, study, go to practice, lift, eat, and if you had time sleep once and a while.”

You have to discipline yourself a lot more in college.”

— Caroline Taylor

Natalie Dumin, a sophomore at Penn State-Altoona, thought she was ready for something new.

“When I graduated high school,” said Natalie, “I thought I was emotionally ready for college because I was ready for a change.”

 

Everyone asked agreed that in high school the teachers were more personal and involved.

“I miss always having support system of teachers,” said Caroline Taylor.

Natalie said she missed “how personal the teachers were.”

They also all agreed that in college you have more freedom, but that it comes with a cost.

“You have the freedom to make your own decisions and feel more like an adult,” said Caroline Taylor.

“In high school you’re disciplined to eight hours of doing work and learning, and in college you’re usually committed to about three to four hours of learning, and then you have to choose whether you’re going to be productive or take a nap.  You have to discipline yourself a lot more in college.”

Those freedoms can also be a good thing.

Caroline Showalter has found the transition from high school to college athlete a difficult one.
courtesy photo
Caroline Showalter has found the transition from high school to college athlete a difficult one.

“I like that you have so much more responsibility,” said Edyn Convery, a freshman at IUP.  “You get to chose if you show up to class and if you do your homework. I also have only two to three classes a day, so there is a lot more free time to do whatever you want. There are a lot more ways to get involved with the school. In high school, there were clubs and groups, but they weren’t very diverse. In college, you can join a club or start a club about anything you can think of. You could also join a social or academic sorority or fraternity.”

“In college, you have more freedoms,” Natalie said. “You choose what you want to do and when you want to do it. There’s always something fun to do. Plus it’s exciting to make new friends and meet new people that are so different than you are.”

Edyn thinks that everyone should be ready for college by the time the graduate.

“I couldn’t wait to go to college,” she said, “Being around the same people for so long gets old.”