Transitioning to college in person after three years of online school, as I am doing this semester, is especially challenging.

students in quad

Online learning has been increasingly popular in recent years, offering flexibility and convenience, which can be difficult to get in a high school setting. But transitioning to college in person after three years of online school, as I am doing this semester, is especially challenging.

There are many drawbacks to consider when adjusting to an in-person college experience. One of the most glaring issues is the shift from a completely different environment. Online school allows students to work at their own pace in the comfort of their own homes. Attending college in person requires adapting to a structured schedule and being physically present in a classroom.

Personally, I’m still adjusting to college life, even though I’m not actually living on campus. After learning online for the last three years of high school, I had to work extra hard to get into the feel of college as opposed to the feel of working all day on a computer. It was and still is somewhat difficult to stay caught up on all of my work and projects. However, it’s getting easier, and It’s slowly becoming my routine and daily life.

I think the biggest reason for this is just the passage of time. With time, everything slowly gets better. I remind new students: you will get into the hang of your classes and daily activities. It will become just another day.

 Also understand that making the transition from any school is super stressful and nerve-wracking. I spoke to O’Shiana Warren, a freshman at Mount St. Joseph, about her adjustment to college life. Though I understand that each student’s experience may vary drastically, I wanted to gauge how Warren, and possibly other new freshmen, are adjusting to college.

First, I wanted to know the main thing. How has she been adjusting to college after four years of high school? She expressed that college life is so different, saying, “I came in thinking it would be easy and a smooth transition, but you really have to get in the groove of things.”

Next, I asked her what advice she would give to nervous incoming freshmen. She responded, “I say just use your resources because everybody is here to see you succeed.” That’s one thing that I myself have come to learn as well. It seems like the professors and staff want to see the students do well in their classes, so this thought from Warren is shared by multiple people.

Finally, I asked her how a college classroom is different from a high school classroom. She has noticed that a college classroom is much quieter and calmer than being in a high school classroom, which are often more chaotic. 

“A college classroom is just a different vibe,” she says.

Another freshman, Madison Lade, responding to the same questions, replied, “I’ve been adjusting to college about as expected. I am adjusting to the academic part pretty well, but it takes me a lot more time to adjust socially, so I still keep to myself outside of people I know from high school.”

This may be different from other freshmen in Madison’s position. It goes back to a point I made already that each student’s college experience will vary greatly. Some other students may get the social aspect down in college, but struggle academically.

To other new students who might still be anxious during their first semester, Lade also mentions The Writing Center.

 “You are not a bother to the staff there, and it is also your instructor’s job to help you however you need,” she says. This is one quote that should resonate with a lot of new students.

Finally, I asked Lade the major differences she noticed since starting at the Mount. She brought up the fact that students and professors alike can both enter and exit on their own. She also mentions that the subject matter we discuss in college is different than in college, where “we talk about stories that may be too mature for the average high school student.”

In conclusion, the jump to college from high school is a steep for someone like me who hasn’t been in a physical classroom in three years. But as Warren and Lade affirm, it just takes time.