In all honesty the first semester of my first year as the student of a four year college was no easy feat. The difficulties of staggering home life, work life, and a full time school work load was not the easiest, to say the least. With the right networks to navigate through and the ambition to find a way to accomplish your college goal the load can be lessened by simple conviction of the mind to the task at hand.
The people that have helped me along the beginning of my journey are almost innumerous, but a few have really aided in the success I have met thus far. There are obvious resource centers based in the University Center and the Library, but none were more knowledgeable than the class room instructors. Every Professor I had, in some way, helped, whether it be in navigation of the campus itself or the college way of life in general. Of course I could not properly explain how helpful Lynn is in getting your college "sea legs". The most troublesome part about the first year experience is figuring out if you have your ducks all in a row, and Lynn's concentration on aiding in doing that for each one of my classmates individual situations was extremely helpful. Honestly, the most important person to have impacted my beginning college experience, to my surprise, was myself. It's amazing how a little bit of confidence and want to succeed can really pay off, and the only person who can accomplish that wholly is yourself.
The biggest challenge I encountered during the first semester was just becoming accustom to being in a classroom again. Though it has not been difficult to sit and attentatively absorb information given in class, the idea of sitting and waiting my turn to speak while actively attempting to understand the concepts of a younger, less experienced person was not easy, at first, to do.
After succeeding in confronting my uncertainties I had involving my first semester as a four year college student I have met the year with great success. I had worried that I would fall back into the routine from high school and thus end this first term in disaster, but to my surprise, as an adult my work ethic has greatly improved. I now have all A's and B's (mostly A's) in my classes and have a good relationship with some of my professors. I have found it much easier to absorb the knowledge laid in front of me due to the nature of why I'm here, and that is to succeed. I believe that many of my adult life experiences have attributed to the drive and want to finish out my degree and become a more productive participant in society.
The way I have gone about tackling college life and work is pretty basic rudimentary tactics. I show up for all of my classes on time. I try to prepare as much the night before as I can for the classes I have the next day, whether it be just getting my books together or, if I know I have a writing or discussion, jotting down some notes to aid me in participating in class the next day. Also I get all of my homework done on time, often times before the allotted due date so as not to forget anything important. The biggest help to me thus far this year is the way I utilize the time I have in between classes. A short reading is, often times, easier accomplished during the thirty minutes between two of my classes rather than the half hour I would have after an eight hour school day topped off with four to eight hours of working. Getting acquainted with the traditional students also helps a lot with multiple aspects of college success. Though I consider myself pretty on top of my schedule, most often the traditional students have a better grasp of what is actually going on around the campus. For instance; if there is an event I want to attend but it is not posted on the UWW website a traditional student usually has, at least, heard of it by word of mouth. And finally, believing I can succeed has really been the biggest deciding factor in all of this. I had my doubts before the year began, but as I entered into the realm of a college student I found I prospered and it gave me the confidence that is so important to succeed.
I wish, before the year started, that I had known that this is not as hard as it seems. Don't get me wrong college is not the easiest thing I have tackled, but as I stated earlier, if you just put your mind to it and concentrate on this as much as you would your taxes or mortgage success is the only possible outcome. I wish I would have just known that I could do it, rather than worry if it was worth it for the last six years.
That being said don't get too much anxiety your first semester, it isn't as intimidating as it may seem. Just go into it with a hard work ethic and try and have some fun. College is an experience unlike any other so take it for what it is and good luck!