Entering my freshman year, no one told me what college was going to be like or what college was like in general. Because, to be honest with you what they tell you in High School is not anything like what college really is. For those that are attending school away from home and living on campus it will be a difficult transition but one that will help mold you into a responsible young adult.
College is definitely not for everyone but if you do choose to go, you have to go all in. Don’t hesitate and don’t second guess yourself. You will fail a million times, you will miss an assignment, miss a class, receive a bad grade, have a bad teacher, have to work a full or part-time job while in school, have an 8 AM class, probably take 12-18 credits every semester, take summer and or winter classes, take classes you do not like and or have an interest in. You will second guess yourself on what major you are doing. But, at the end of the day this what you signed up for therefore complaining about it or feeling sorry for yourself is not going to help you. College really is you vs you. You have to buckle down, be able to take criticism and use it to better you, put your head down when adversity and tough times come and continue to push forward.
College was never a thought in my mind when I was in High School and even all the way up until about February of my senior year in HS in 2014 but I was presented with a great opportunity. I got into Rider University through the RAP program which was a program designed for students who struggled on the SAT’s but showed academic success still. I was supposed to enter the RAP program in the middle of August about two weeks before ever other student got on campus it was a way for us to get a feel of the school, understand college work/life balance and make some friends. To say the program was a failure for me would be an understatement and it showed greatly in my academic performance the first year of college.
BUT, what I want incoming freshman/current graduating seniors to understand is this. I had a 1.8 GPA at the end of the first semester of freshman year to anyone who knows what a good GPA is that is borderline the worst GPA one could receive on a 0-5 scale. Although I did absolutely terribly my first semester, I had to look at myself in the mirror and buckle down on my grades. I worked tirelessly to raise my GPA to a 3.0 by the end of graduation. I had 5 more semester after the Fall 14 semester ended to raise my GPA. After that 2014 Fall semester ended and I was in terrible academic standing heading into the Spring 15 semester. I wish someone would have told me this. With that said...
In summary, college weeds out the weak from the strong and it will show in business, in life, with friends, family, etc but college really is not for everyone. There is no reason you need to go to college if you do not want to. There is nothing wrong with taking a year off school and just working to take time to yourself and figure out what you want to do. College was great for me all the mistakes I made has allowed me to be the person I am today. I have developed some amazing habits that will carry with me into my older years, I have made some amazing friends, I met amazing people and I would change the way I did college one bit. Still the overarching point here I am trying to push across to incoming freshman is, be yourself, don’t allow that GPA ruin your college experience, ask for help, make all kinds of friends, do something you would not normally do (be uncomfortable), take your time. And of course, WHO CARES what other people say or think about you. Do not allow any one person or professor discourage you. Take a breather, make college an enjoyable time but also use it as a time to grow personally. If you do not like, there is nothing wrong with, backing out and taking a year off. It’s your life, dictate what you are doing to do with the time you have in college. The one thing you cannot get back in life is time so don’t go through four years of college to look back and say what if. Go all in and make the time count.