November 18, 2010

When you embark on this journey called college
it can be a mixture of emotions. Excitement for new beginnings, nervousness, and stress, trust as you end the first semester you will understand the frustration and stressfulness of the closing semester.  I can, however, tell you some simple things to remember to help alleviate the stress that may come along with this time of transition.

  1. Make sure you pay attention in Univ. 101 (I believe is required of all freshmen) especially when you do your four-year plan, this class in the end will be great benefit and you will find registration a skip in the park, or at least a brisk jog.
  2. Talk to your advisor as soon as possible. Do NOT and I stress not, wait till the very last moment to make an appointment with your academic advisor. Unlike high school where they somewhat held your hand, in college it is up to you, the student, to go after what you need including academically.Note: The last minute would be around late October and into the first few weeks of November. This is one of the busiest times for your academic advisor and quite frankly they are just as (if not somewhat more so) stressed as you are. Thankfully you don’t have to see every freshman and clarify that their schedule is correct and they can move on. So do them a BIG favor and see them earlier on and it will save you both a headache and time in the end.
  3. Speak to an RA, upperclassmen (that you trust and know) or any available professors if you are stuck on and/or need help in figuring out the process of making a schedule. Everyone already knows you are a freshmen and it is not always the easiest to figure out the ropes of college so make upperclassmen friends, talk to an RA, or even go to the Doolittle Annex where student staff can help you with most academic problems you may acquire.
  4. Lastly, don’t be afraid to speak up. Sometimes not speaking up about your concerns (even if you think embarrassing) can be the worst thing you can do. Granted, sometimes your answers come when you wait and watch but at other times if you are seeing a problem speak up before it is too late.Note: This also includes if you are having problems with your academic advisor (such as lack of communication regardless of your many attempts). Some things are able to be changed if you speak up in time. If for some reason you and your academic advisor cannot see eye-to-eye then take the initiative to get another academic advisor or speaking with the head of academic advisors to resolve the problem in a mature manner.

Being in college means freedom and, of course, with it comes a load of responsibility. Although some adjust with no problems, others of us have a little more trouble and speaking up about it can make all the difference when you face a problem. Just remember high school and college are two completely different worlds and when trying to collide they may not mix so well. College teaches you a lot of life skills and as in life sometimes you must seek after that which you want……including the “perfect schedule” for your second semester.

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About Hannah

**Minor:** Psychology **Career Goals:** I want to start a magazine and photography company but I'm still looking into career goals. **Why I chose Embry-Riddle:** I chose ERAU because I fell in love with the campus and the atmosphere. I didn't feel like just another number here and the relationships with faculty and staff were genuinely one-on-one. Anytime I'd meet students they were always warm and inviting. In a way I feel I didn't choose Embry-Riddle but it chose me.

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