Professor, students discuss transition from high school

The transition from high school to college is huge, and while everyone handles it differently, it is a

common struggle.

One in three students will not return to college after their freshman year, according to U.S. News Education.

Being told to go to class is important advice, said senior Ethan Byrd.

“I actually failed my first year of college because of transitioning for the first time,” he said. “But after a while I got used to it.”

Senior Lindsay McCormick said she would advise freshmen to be prepared to work hard but not quit, no matter how overwhelmed they may feel.

“I regret not becoming more involved than I had,” she said. “I would encourage anyone to get involved. Even if you’re unsure, it’ll be worth it.”

McCormick said she would have advice for her high school self.

“It’s going to be overwhelming at times and you’re going to want to quit – but don’t,” she said.

One of the biggest questions at hand is what makes the transition so difficult and how the stress of it is avoided.

Professor of Nursing and founder of the Presidential Mentors Academy Ernestine Davis has helped UNA freshmen make the adjustment for

18 years.

The PMA program is a tool for freshmen who feel uncertain or overwhelmed by the process of coming to college, she said. Students are moved into the dorms in July and spend the entire month adjusting to life away from home. Once school begins, they are assigned student mentors and are responsible for maintaining a 2.75 GPA and attending group meetings to ensure continued success.

“They’ve never been away from home, and I think that’s a big problem,” Davis said. “What we want to do is extend the home away from home.”

PMA started with approximately five to eight students, but over the years it has grown to accommodate more than 20 students. As students progress through the program, they transition from being mentored to becoming mentors to younger students, Davis said.

“I’m always looking for ways to improve the program,” she said.

Some students said they would advise their high school and college freshmen selves to take different actions.

Sophomore Anastasia Medley said she wishes she had taken college courses in high school.

“Studying is no joke,” she said.

Senior Andrew Kerstiens said he suggests not taking on the responsibility of owning a pet, focusing on oneself and spending money wisely.

“Don’t take your momma’s cooking for granted and use your Mane Card money wisely,” he said.