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Class Act: Freshmen Adjust from High School to College

Male PCC students studying in the PCC Commons.

For many freshmen, their first year at PCC holds much in common—study groups in the Commons with snacks and notebooks littering the table; afternoons spent in the residence hall, chowing down on Grab N Go while studying for that first HI 101 test; competitions between friends in the Sports Center, proving who exactly is the best air hockey player of them all!

Stone Taylor

College experiences show their differences as freshmen navigate the transition from high school to college life. “The college classes are harder than high school, but I do like my teachers and classmates,” said pre-physical therapy student Stone Taylor (Fr., CA), who homeschooled his entire education. “I did visit the school before I came here, but I have enjoyed myself more actually being a part of the college life.”

DJ Waddell

Mechanical engineering student DJ Waddell (Fr., MI) has been learning to manage his time as he adjusts to his college schedule. “Classes each have their own schedule instead of having all of them every day,” he said. “It’s nice that not every class is every day, although it can be a bit difficult to remember to manage assignments for all of the classes when I’m not there every day.”

Mason McDaniel

“College is very different because everything is on such a tight schedule. I didn’t realize there would be so much more to remember and keep up with,” said Mason McDaniel (Fr., NC), who is studying pre-med. “It’s kind of like the real world. It prepares you for life on your own someday. It teaches responsibility with some free time for shopping or the beach.”

With Midterms around the corner, students have a number of resources to help them prepare. At the Academic Advising Office, faculty and graduate students offer tutoring and writing support meetings. Over the course of the semester, Student Leadership Forums provide students with valuable insight about how to get the most out of their semester. Dr. Donna Marion, Dean of Professional Studies, recently presented one of these forums titled “Got Time to Manage Your Time?”

Ida Howell

Adjusting to being away from home and living with roommates doesn’t happen right after unpacking. Over the course of the semester, each freshman learns how to adjust to living with their roommates, getting to know them and learning how to respect each other’s schedules. “I usually wake up early and try not to make much noise or take too much time getting ready for the day,” said elementary education student Ida Howell (Fr., OH). “I feel that if I don’t get an early start, I’ll lose my day trying to catch up.”

Caitlyn Dauphinee

“I was super homesick the first couple weeks. Thankfully, God has been doing so much to help me through that stage, and I’m feeling better,” said studio art student Caitlyn Dauphinee (Fr., ME). “I enjoy hanging out with friends, studying with them, going to the Sports Center or games, walking around the Campus Store, especially the clearance section.”

Of course, new students are learning that every new experience can lead to a relatable story down the road. “Some of the upperclassmen have made me feel welcome by talking to me about when they came here,” said Ida. “I have had a few interesting memories already this semester, and when I hear a counter-story from an upperclassman, it helps me realize that I am not the only one who has difficulty remembering everything.”

While the focus of college is classes, taking advantage of the variety of activities around campus offers personal growth in new areas and opportunities to befriend fellow students. “I just got accepted to my collegian soccer team,” said Mason. “I would like to know more about the Proclaim Ministry Team though. I like to sing, and I’d like to get into that, if possible.”

“I am planning to be a part of the Veranda Nursing Home Christian service,” said Ida. “At home, I went many times to different local nursing homes and enjoyed getting to spend some time with them. I plan to do other types of Christian Service over semesters, but this semester I chose to do something that I was more familiar with.”

“I’ve been taking the sign language classes, which I love! I’m interested in trying out for basketball in my collegian, and hopefully I’ll do Christian Service at some point,” said Caitlyn. “I’m trying to get involved as much as possible.”

These students may have just begun their college career, but it won’t be long before the semester is over and they will be the ones giving welcome advice to the next group of incoming freshmen.