Alumni give advice on surviving freshman year

by Molly Quinn, ’15

As seniors prepare to graduate, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding what to expect from the first year of college. Most believe freshman year of college will be the best year of their lives—that they will meet a bunch of new people, party every weekend and easily maintain a good grade point average. But the reality is far from this.

Maren Levering, sophomore at Ohio University and 2013 graduate of UAHS, advises incoming freshmen to not get too caught up in the social aspect of college—and to make sure that grades come first.

“I would say to make sure you put your schooling at the top of your priorities,” Levering said. “It’s easy in college to get distracted by the new social atmosphere but the reason you’re going there is to get an education.”

Sam Perry, a sophomore at University of Cincinnati and 2013 graduate of UAHS, encourages freshmen to personalize their college experience.

“Although I understand that many students do have lots of expectations, assumptions and worries about college life, one of the best pieces of advice I can give is to make your time at college what you want it to be—not what you have learned to accept as the ‘normal’ college life,” Perry said.

Levering states that the workload in college is easy to keep up with.

“Coming from UAHS, I feel like they do a really good job in preparing you for college,” Levering said. “Personally and fortunately my first year of college was very easy academic-wise and it almost felt like I had a smaller workload in college compared to in high school. But this could be different for every college.”

Levering believes that the best way to make a smooth transition from high school to college is to get involved on your campus.

“To have an easier transition from high school to college, just don’t be afraid to get involved in activities because that’s how you’ll meet more people and build a good support system especially since you’ll be without parents for the first time,” Levering said.

Levering adds that getting involved on campus also gives students something to do with their new found leisure time.

“In college you have way more free time than you ever will in high school, almost too much free time,” Levering said. “Which is why I advise freshmen to get involved in clubs and organizations on your campus—otherwise you’ll just sit around and gain that freshman 15.”

Levering believes that meeting new people is the best part of college, and she encourages incoming freshmen to be enthusiastic about the next couple of years.

“You always hear that your college years are going to be the best years of your life from almost every adult you speak to senior year. And honestly, I can already feel it happening and I wasn’t expecting it,” Levering said. “Going into freshman year I wasn’t all that excited about leaving my friends behind and changing to a completely different lifestyle. But college really is a lot of fun; you just have to keep an open mind and be excited about what’s to come.”