As a college freshman, I see what other college freshmen do. Going from high school to college is an enormous change, but the workload shouldn’t change that much. I say this to ask, why are we struggling as college freshmen?
College workload and assignments are hard, but not that bad as a freshman. In an evening class of mine, the assignments are short and take about 30 minutes. So, why is my professor struggling to get students to attend class and turn in work?
It bugged me knowing that I was earning A’s by simply showing up to class and doing the work. All while my peers, who did not show up or do the work on time, received very low grades. These grades were so low that my friends would have to drop classes and potentially lose their financial aid.
I can only speak for the classes my peers and I take, and I also have yet to meet a freshman with upper level coursework. Entry level classes should not be difficult. Most freshman classes are basic general studies.
As I conversed with my friends, they told me they struggled with managing time and finding motivation. As the semester is coming to an end, I can see people lose the motivation needed to succeed.
Many college freshmen struggle with the liberty that comes with college. Classes are not seven hours back to back anymore. We can choose our own hours and make our own schedules.
So, why are the assignments a hard task to complete? Essentially, we are given more time to do longer assignments. In high school a 300-word writing assignment would be due the next school day. In college, at least for some of my classes, this same assignment would be due in a week.
I am only speaking from my high school experience. But to me high school demanded more work from me than college has so far. Of course, I understand, it is only freshman year and as the years progress, it will get harder.
I think that because I was an honors student in high school, I am used to having a heavy workload due in a short amount of time. So, when I saw other students struggling on very easy assignments, it confused me.
Another thing that shocked me was how much college freshmen expect from college. By this I mean that they are extremely unprepared. College freshmen expect things to be handed to them, they do not want to seek out answers themselves.
I have found myself guilty of some of these things. But I do not come to class unprepared like some of my peers. Something as simple as checking Moodle, should not be a hard task.
Some students do not have the fear of not knowing, and that scares me. It terrifies me to not know what assignment is due next or if I missed a deadline. So, to see my classmates nonchalantly walk in late without their assignments done, it scares me to say this is our future.
Recently, we had advising sessions for the next semester. I have never seen so many college freshmen confused in my life. To take some heat off of me, I was also confused. I learned that I was mostly doing all the leg work.
I had to fill out my own blue sheet, and tell my advisor the classes that I wanted to take. This was shocking, but I was prepared to do it. I knew that I had to take responsibility for my degree plan and do my own research.
Building a healthy school and social life dynamic is essential to surviving college. I am not saying that you strictly have to do school work and miss out on your social life. That would make me a hypocrite.
What I do is make sure all of my work is due, and then I allow myself to go out with friends. I know myself. So I know that if something is due at midnight and I go party with my friends, that assignment will not be turned in on time.
All this is to say, we have to do better. I include myself in that statement too. We are in college, so we have to pick up our weight and act like we are in college. It is tempting to not do an assignment and go out with our friends.
But we are college students first, so make yourself proud and put college first. Go to class, do the work, ask questions, and you will be perfectly fine. We have a long road ahead of us. So, trust me when I tell you, you will thank yourself in the future.