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Are College Freshmen Ready for the College Setting?

Westminster+University+is+one+of+many+institutes+freshmen+attend.
Westminster University is one of many institutes freshmen attend.

Westminster University is one of many institutes freshmen attend.

Provided by McKenna Keyes

Provided by McKenna Keyes

Westminster University is one of many institutes freshmen attend.

Tomas D'Anella, Editor-in-Chief

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The Utah State Board of Education reports that 40,100 students graduated from high school in 2017. There is an 86% graduation rate among all students. A large number of those students go on to enroll in college after graduation.

High Schools do their best to prepare these students for college through many different events. Cottonwood High School has hosted events ranging from Utah College Application Week, encouraging seniors to enroll in higher education, to College Week for underclassmen to explore Utah colleges..

The tune still rings among college freshmen that they have “bit off more than they can chew” after enrolling into their respective universities.

Many freshmen at Utah universities have varying viewpoints on the college life. Some freshmen believe that college is a lot easier than they expected. Some believe that college life outside of the classroom was more difficult than expected.

A freshman at the University of Utah, Alec (declined to provide last name) told Colt Roundup that he was surprised by how difficult it was to make friends.

“I was told this is the years that you develop friendships and so forth,” Alec stated, “but to me it’s like, no one really talks to anyone. So it just kinda like seems a lot more lonelier here. But at the same time, I don’t really care. I’m just trying to get my degree.”

Alec believes that high school prepares students for the college lifestyle but misinformed high schoolers on the difficulty of college classes. “Generally all it is is just ‘read this chapter then write a little thing about it’. This is nothing I haven’t done before.”

“You still have those things that this feels like busy work, why are we doing this? So, that necessarily isn’t gonna go away but, I feel you’ll get a lot more out of it than like doing a cross word for your health class.”

Alec isn’t the only college freshmen who wasn’t prepared for the college life.

Reece Rhodes from Westminster University thinks high school didn’t provide him with proper study habits.  He says the college workload has cost him hours of sleep he was not prepared to lose. Rhodes, a physics major, says homework on top of having new adult responsibilities, keeps him up later than he would like.

Georgia Bear, a freshman sociology major, is one of many who feel high school failed to deliver on their promise to get seniors college ready.

“I think my parents did a better job of getting me ready than my high school,” Bear states, “My parents were each the only kids from their family that went to college. They made sure that I was on the track to getting into a decent school.”

These freshmen have different feelings on their own level of college readiness. But Rhodes and Bear both share the feeling that if you put in the work in high school, you can be prepared for college classes. Alec, on the other hand says in a rather lengthy quote that the prep work before college doesn’t always mean you’re locked in for higher education.

“I was one of those kids where freshman year I was still in my [Jr. High]. So the transfer from going from middle school being an AP student, IB track then going into high school was a bit of a shock and jolt to my system. That was really hard and I decided to change my major in that time. ” Alec continued, “So instead of computer science, I said ‘oh no, I want to go into veterinary science.’ Then I was like, ‘Nah, I don’t wanna do that.’  Then you start questioning what do you really want to do and next thing you know, ‘Illustration. I wanna draw pretty pictures for a living and not get paid.’”

He adds, “High school I do think to an extent that being a microcosm [representation of something on a smaller scale] of society does prepare you for college life. But for certain classes, say anything in the upper range in your Biology or anything, if  you didn’t put the time and the effort into those classes in high school, its gonna put you further behind.”

These students, along with many other professionals, firmly believe you can get ahead in college, but you have to start in high school.

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Are College Freshmen Ready for the College Setting?