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March 26th, 2018
Last year’s Shrop Ed seniors continue to send feedback about their first year at college, and today we share excerpts from three students who report both happiness and success.  You’ll note some boldfaced text – these are points that we feel are crucial for younger students to zero in on, to understand what it takes to transition successfully to college.
What themes do you note?
First year at U. of Kentucky
My first few months at the University of Kentucky have been pretty good!  I am currently involved in a variety of activities here, including the International Student Council, the University of Kentucky Leadership Exchange, the Chinese Culture Club, and the Korean Language and Culture Club.  Overall, transitioning to life in campus was not very difficult for me, surprisingly.  My classes have gone quite well so far, and while I am still trying to find my perfect niche here I have met a variety of people I have become close friends with.  Interesting, adjusting to my new homework load wasn’t very difficult, and I finished the semester with straight A’s.  The hardest thing I’ve had to grow used to is managing when I will do all of my homework, but it did not take long for me to get used to this.  I have been working with the Modern and Classical Languages Department to start a new Korean language program due both to strong student interest and my own time spent in South Korea on a scholarship last summer, and I have recently been accepted for a summer internship overseas!  While at times I do wish I had been able to attend one of the other wonderful schools I was accepted to, I do think I have done well at UK so far and I have high hopes for the upcoming semester.
First year at Northeastern U. in Boston
My first semester is going absolutely amazing.  Northeastern was definitely a perfect fit for me and I am so glad I chose it.  The courses I’m taking are really challenging, not sure if I will end up sticking with Math as a major, I may be switching to a minor.  However, I am really enjoying the courses I’m taking and I’m glad Northeastern has given me room in my schedule to explore other areas, such as Communications, Linguistics, and Psychology.  Through the academic part is definitely at challenge, I’ve gained some really great study skills and I’ve become more organized.  My work ethic has increased as well, due to the fact that what I am learning is really interesting and exciting for me!  I think the transition to college went really smoothly and I made friends quickly without any difficulty.  Additionally, I am getting involved on and off campus with different clubs and activities.  I am doing lots of community service for different organizations around Boston and joined a recreational soccer team as well as other activities.  It seems as though I have unlimited opportunities to get involved in clubs/extracurriculars as well as research and internships.  I’m so excited for what is to come in my college career and I can’t thank you enough for all the help in my college process!
First year at Southern Methodist U. Honors Program 
SMU…is academically challenging, especially for me who is in the Honors Program and seeking a triple major (thanks to the AP classes I have taken and my interests in humanities and STEM).  One of the things that has definitely helped me to get through is motivation because I am the kind of person who does not like to do assignments, especially papers for English major classes, the day before it’s due….I would rather work hard on Friday and Saturday so that I can have Sunday free.  What I actually do, providing that there is a long-term assignment, is to put it in my planner twice or even more times and aim for the first date to compete it…
…I have made much effort and found great venues to get involved.  One of the great things I am involved in is Yearbook as a staff writer, which allows and motivates me to go to different events and write about them.  I feel that it is important to do what I actually like while it is also worthwhile to consider the potential benefits.  I am also working for the library, and that’s why I stayed on campus through this winter break.  At the same time, I am applying to become an RA, a position that can potentially bring me more into the community of my Residential Commons.  What has gone smoothly for me is to adapt to the college campus and be independent responsibly because I came to the States when I was 15, and I feel like moving into college is not like leaving my family for the first time.  Therefore, the transition is smooth, and most importantly, since such independence is not something new to me, I treat it with responsibility which is important, in my opinion, for a college freshman.  And what’s surprising is how busy college life can be even if it may sound plausible that I come back to dorm and take a nap after classes.  Classes, homework, jobs/activities, and all other things that will come up take up much of the time, and in order to stick to my routines, I have to pace myself well.
Throughout these months, I have come to understand how the sense of responsibility can play a key role in almost everything, and I have seen how different everyone is.  I went to a very small high school, and college is giving me a better idea of diversity by which I mean how everyone is pursuing different things and how drastically different ideas, personalities, and values can come together….
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We’re grateful to these students for allowing us to share their thoughts with you on our blog, and wish them continued success and new adventures!  We hope they’ll stay in touch with us for a long time to come, just as we hope you will do when you’re at the school of your choice.
 

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