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A Smooth Transition
Local colleges and universities offer tips to help students survive freshman year

by Staff

For those who have recently left high school behind and have now headed off to college, freshman year brings lots of excitement about the journey that lies ahead. But, let’s be honest, it also can cause lots of angst as one adjusts to a new school, new friends, new teachers and so on. To help make matters a bit easier, we spoke with officials from area colleges and universities to get their advice on how students can hit the ground running.

Stay on campus and get involved
“Starting college can be a rollercoaster of emotions. One way to channel that energy is to get involved. Most colleges will have a club fair in the first few weeks where student clubs and organizations table and offer opportunities to connect. Research shows that the more connected a student is on campus, the higher the GPA they have and the faster they graduate!  So, take advantage of the opportunities to connect and do not be afraid to put yourself out there to meet new people.”
Christopher Romano, Ed.D.
Vice President of Strategic Enrollment, Outreach and Engagement
Executive Director of the Ramapo College Foundation
Ramapo College of New Jersey

Don’t feel pressured to make a hasty decision about a career or a major
“Many liberal arts and sciences institutions, like Lycoming College, don’t require you to officially declare a major until your sophomore year. Through first-year seminars and hands-on experiences like internships, global study or student-faculty research, you’ll be able to hone in on your interests and turn your passion into a profession.”
Jessica A. Quintana Hess
Director of Admissions
Lycoming College

Meet with your professors and academic advisor
Your academic advisor will guide you throughout your college career, from assisting in creating your class schedule to helping you decide a major. Even if you aren’t seeking help, stop by during your professors’ office hours to create those valuable relationships that can be helpful down the line.
John Stern, M.S.Ed.
Vice President for Student Services
Dean of Students
Gwynedd Mercy University

Find the career services office
It’s never too early to visit the career services office on your campus. Career services is an integral part of your educational process, helping with self-assessment, decision-making, internship and job search skills that are essential for a lifelong career and professional development. Be sure to take advantage of all the opportunities they offer.
John Stern, M.S.Ed.
Vice President for Student Services
Dean of Students
Gwynedd Mercy University

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 4.
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