Finding a Balance on Campus
By Olivia Rawley, AmeriCorps Career Pathway Coach
So: You’ve enrolled in college, and you think you’re ready to start your new life as a college student (eek!). You start trying to imagine your life— classes with captivating professors, new friendships with like-minded people, parties, clubs, etc.—and it sounds incredibly exciting. It should feel exciting.
But the excitement starts to wear off when you start thinking about responsibilities. Oh yes, the dreaded responsibilities.
The classes may be exciting and the lectures enthralling, but the homework keeps piling up; you’ve been having a lot of fun with your friends, but you realize that you all keep getting pizza one too many times throughout the week, and you decided to start hitting the gym to feel healthier; you’re dedicated to the club you’ve joined, but they have three-hour meetings on Tuesday nights and events on weekends that tap into valuable time; on top of it all, you have to get a part-time job to pay some of the bills. You think to yourself: there goes my social life!
It may all seem like too much, and I don’t want to overwhelm you. College is a valuable experience and an overall exciting time in your life, but it is also very busy, especially if you have to work to help pay your tuition or bills (I know I did!).
But there are ways to find a balance between school and work and staying healthy without sacrificing your social life and hobbies. It’s all about finding that work/life balance! I know, I know. This phrase may conjure some eye rolls, but it’s important for your physical and mental health. We can’t be on the go all the time, even if we would like to be.
So how exactly do we go about finding this coveted “balance?”
You’ve obviously heard about time management before. Maybe your high school teachers mentioned it one or two times in passing, but it went over your head because it didn’t really apply to you. You say to yourself: I manage my time just fine. I write my papers a couple of hours before they are due, and it ends up turning out well enough!
I can’t reiterate this enough: that will not work in college! You need to give your assignments the appropriate amount of time without feeling stressed that you only have a couple of hours to complete them. Whatever is on that paper will be riddled with errors, I guarantee it.
You don’t want that stress, especially because it’s avoidable.
GET A PLANNER.
You’re an adult now;it’s time to get a planner. I recommend getting something that allows you to list out daily “to-dos,” in addition to an hourly schedule so you can schedule blocks of time.
For example, say it’s a typical Tuesday. You have classes from 9am to 12pm, and then you have to go to work from 2pm to 5pm. Oh, and your friend wants to get dinner at 7pm! This leaves you with some “open” time to get some studying done. You decide to schedule in “study” time during that window between 12pm and 2 pm since you’ll be tired after work and may need a nap.
Now, when you schedule this time, you need to get specific. Don’t just write in “study” time. Look at whatever assignments you have due (hopefully you have these things written down in your planner!) and determine what’s most pressing.
For example, you see that you have a five-page paper due next Monday for your Contemporary Art History class. Well, you haven’t even started that yet! So, you write in your schedule: Draft introduction and find sources for Art History paper.
Make sure you include the location as well. It wouldn’t make sense if you were already on campus to run back to your dorm/apartment to study, so write down next to your task @ library.
Also, be realistic about your time. If you’re sitting down to write a draft of a paper, a half hour time block isn’t going to cut it. You may need two hours or more. Better to overestimate than underestimate. Again, this is about managing stress!
WHEN YOU’RE STUDYING, MAKE SURE YOU’RE STUDYING. (NO MULTITASKING, PLEASE!)
We need to stop advocating for multitasking ; it simply doesn’t work. Or even if it does work, it’s not an efficient use of your time.
You’re at the library trying to study for a biology exam. You’re going through your previous notes, reviewing terms, etc. You’re on a roll until your phone vibrates. You look down at your phone and your friend has sent a funny meme. Of course, you have to reply. Then you get back to studying, but about 10 minutes in you hear the ping of an email because your laptop is open. You look at the email and it’s a professor replying back to your email about a paper that is due next week. This email jogs your memory that that paper is due next week and you only have the intro done. Better stop studying for this bio exam and get back to the paper!
This happens all the time, and it’s very inefficient studying. Put the phone away and turn off notifications. Close all the tabs on the computer if you need to be working on the computer. Block off time when you’ll be working on your paper before you switch to studying for an exam. There are even apps and websites that can stop your notifications or lock you out of social media websites for a designated amount of time, so even if you are tempted to multitask, your computer or phone simply won’t let you do so.
The point is to enhance focus and “deep work” (this is referencing Cal Newport’s book Deep Work). It’s about making your “hour” of studying count.
IF YOU CAN, FIND A JOB ON CAMPUS.
I can assure you that this will make your life much easier than finding a job at an off-campus location. Then, all the places where you’ll need to be in your day-to-day life will be in a small geographical radius. Cuts down time for commuting from place to place! Also, many student jobs are in a relaxed environment where you can do homework in between work tasks. Doubly convenient, right?!
So, where do you find these jobs? Many universities have resources for student employment, like their student job board (should be located on their main website). There is usually a filter specifically for on-campus jobs.
And if you can’t find on-campus job on the job board, don’t fret—but continue to use the job board! The postings there are specifically geared toward college students, so most of the employers are understanding of your schedule: school first, job second.
KNOW WHEN TO SAY NO
College is a time to try new things, find new passions, join new clubs, and pursue your interests. However, this can lead to you joining six or seven different organizations and suddenly discovering you have no time to study, work, or even sleep!
To be successful in college, you need to know how to prioritize and know when to say no. If you are over-worked and over-extending yourself, you need to learn when to say no and step back from something. Since you can’t drop all your classes or quit your job, you may need to take a break from some clubs or organizations that are eating into the time you should be spending studying or working. If you compromise your mental or physical health because you are too involved, you won’t be able to focus on the areas that really need your attention. Tell the club you are in that you need to take a few weeks off to focus on a class. The students involved have been in your shoes and they understand where you are coming from. Then, join back up when you feel you have a better grasp of your time – or don’t! if you find that you have to completely drop something because it just doesn’t fit into your schedule, be honest with people and let them know that you took on too much and need to step back for the time being. Be honest and know when you are taking on too much. No one can fault you for needing to put your classes first.
If you need any additional resources geared toward time management, I recommend delving deeper into Cal Newport’s work, specifically, his books Deep Work and How to Win at College.
Until next time,
Making the Transition from High School to College
By Olivia Rowley, AmeriCorps Careers Pathways Coach
With the school year coming to a close, you are probably looking toward what’s next. Maybe you’re thinking about your summer job (if you have one), or what fun summer activities you have planned (that follow public health guidelines, of course). Or maybe you’re already looking ahead to the fall semester when you’ll be starting your new life on a college campus.
Maybe this thought of starting college makes you feel a little anxious, excited, and scared. Don’t worry – it’s normal to feel these things when going through a change; change brings uncertainty.
You might be thinking, Yes, this is true. I am feeling all those things, but my question is: What do I have to do? How do I start being a “college student?” This might seem like a silly thought to some, but it’s a valid question. It’s certainly one of the things that I had on my mind when I was about to start college! The jump from high school to college is big. In high school, you have people telling you where to be and when. And, if you don’t adhere to the “rules,” there are repercussions. This isn’t to say that there aren’t repercussions in college, but the repercussions are more abstract in nature and not so immediate. The only person responsible for your success in college is you; if you don’t turn in your papers or don’t study for your exams, the only person who will have to live with the consequences is you
Some of the questions you should be asking yourself are: What are the things that I should be doing to ensure my success when I first arrive on campus? Who are the people I should be connecting with?
- MEET WITH YOUR ADVISOR.
Every undergraduate student is assigned an advisor that is part of their designated department (For example, if you are an English major, you will have an advisor from the English department). Advisors help keep you on track for graduation by offering guidance on your core major requirements. Usually, you meet your advisor during orientation when you are signing up for classes for your first semester. Please, though, do not allow this to be the only time you meet with your advisor during your first year!
I encourage you to build a relationship with your advisor. This will be the first person you go to throughout your college career if you are ever struggling with your classes, and they can also be your biggest advocate for success. For example, maybe you are taking a class that is a core requirement for your major, but you find the professor to be particularly challenging and want to drop the class altogether. Set up an appointment with your advisor and explore options; don’t just drop the class right away without knowing all the facts and how dropping the class might affect you going forward. Your advisor can help you put together a plan and suggest campus resources to help you.
- MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH CAREER SERVICES.
I stumbled across this article in The Atlantic illustrating that students in universities across the country are not utilizing the full capacity of career services’ resources on campus. This is a shame since this is the department at a university that will help you find a job and offer other professional development resources, like building a resume or mapping out a career plan based on your particular interests and strengths. Even if you think it is too early to start thinking about your career after college, the career services department can help connect you with alumni in fields you may be interested in and introduce you to internship opportunities.
- ATTEND THE STUDENT ACTIVITIES FAIR.
You will find all sorts of clubs, intramural sports, fraternities/sororities, etc. on college campuses. Get involved and start building connections. Go up to a table and inquire about a club that is totally outside your wheelhouse, just to see what the club organizers have to say about it. You might find that it piques your interest!
Overall, this is a time for exploration and testing out different identities. Maybe in high school you were a sports fanatic but in college you discover that your passion is environmentalism, so you put all your time and energy into a sustainability club. The only way to discover this is to try! Don’t be intimidated by older students who are involved in this organizations, either. Remember, they were all first year students exactly like you once and they want to make sure you feel included, as well.
- FIND THE TUTORING CENTER.
Notice that I said “find” instead of “go.” You may not need tutoring your first year, and that’s awesome, but it’s most likely that you will at some point during your college years. Like I mentioned before, it’s a big transition from high school to college, and you will find your college classes have much higher expectations. There is no shame seeking additional help. It will only help you be that much more successful in the future.
- GO TO YOUR PROFESSORS’ OFFICE HOURS.
If you go to a big school where the class sizes are larger and you have a more difficult time acquiring personal attention from the professor in the classroom, this is absolutely imperative. You need to build relationships with your professors. Ask them questions about themselves and their area of expertise. Ask for help on assignments. And, once you build a personal relationship with your professors, it may help you build the confidence to participate in the classroom if you were previously reticent to do so, which is a common thing as a first semester college student who is away from their high school peers for the first time. Professors also take notice of students who attend their office hours to ask for help and support and establishing that bond with your professor early on can be incredibly helpful throughout your college career. You never know when a professor might need a research or teaching assistant, and your relationship with them may help you nab one of these coveted positions in the future.
- REACH OUT TO YOUR ROOMMATE.
You will be assigned your roommate sometime during the summer after you have filled out your roommate questionnaire (your school will want to pair you with someone with similar interest/habits). Find them on Facebook and/or Instagram. Talk about all the things you need to know about living with one another, even if it seems silly. It’s better to find out now that your roommate is a night owl, while you prefer an early bed time, so you can invest in a sleep mask or ear plugs before arriving on campus! Make a spreadsheet of all the things you need to bring for the room.
And when you’re finally on campus and living with one another, make sure you find time for bonding experiences, even if that means talking over a cup of coffee. Your first year will be much more enjoyable if you can find common ground and mutual respect for the person you are living with.
There you have it. This list may seem daunting, but I can assure you that it will make much more sense when you are on campus and start acclimating to your surroundings. Sooner or later, it will become your new normal and you will wonder why you were ever worried in the first place.
I also want to remind you that school can be expensive; utilize your resources. There are many other things that I didn’t mention on this list that you might find useful. Do your research. Find something that is unique to your school that can help you succeed.
And if you do find yourself struggling to the detriment of your physical and mental health, know that your university has health resources that you can utilize. It is a big change, and everyone copes differently. Do not worry if you need additional support.
Until next time,
A Letter to the Class of 2020
The College Now team has the honor of working with students during some of the most exciting moments of their lives. From watching joy emerge on a high school senior’s face as they open their first acceptance letter to cheering on college graduates as they walk across the stage, our staff often has a front-row seat in celebrating these hard-earned moments. It is a privilege we do not take for granted.
That’s why, as the COVID-19 Pandemic continues, our hearts go out to all students – particularly high school and college seniors in the class of 2020.
Recently, many of the typical rights-of-passage in young adult lives – prom, graduation, senior traditions, and more – have been uprooted, leaving students disappointed, stressed, and concerned for their futures. As an organization, we understand and empathize with the experiences that students across the world are going through. It can be very difficult to work so hard toward something and to not be able to celebrate in the way you had always imagined. On top of this disappointment, we know that many folks are also occupied with worry over meeting their family’s basic needs and maintaining good health.
We want to remind our students of this: We see you. We hear you. We celebrate you. And we are still right here with you.
To our College Now seniors – both in high school and college – we know many of you have been looking forward to enjoying the rewards of your hard work for quite some time. Perhaps you had your prom attire already picked out, your commencement speech written, or a graduation party already planned. While it is certainly difficult to come to terms with the fact that the end of your high school or college career looks a lot different than you probably anticipated, no one can take away the fact that you have earned the accomplishment of graduating.
Your hard work has not gone wasted. Your dreams are still there for you to chase.
As you go into the final weeks of your schooling, College Now recognizes the many distractions and challenges that you are facing. Perhaps you are helping take care of younger siblings while also trying to complete your schoolwork. Perhaps you’re worried about having access to internet and other utilities. Or maybe you’re concerned about entering an uncertain job market in just a few short weeks.
All these hurdles are not insignificant; however, they are not impossible to overcome. College Now wants to support and encourage you in any ways that we possibly can. Our team is still here to help you navigate this time in your life and to keep you on track toward reaching your goals. Do not give up! We encourage you to take care of yourselves as best as you can and to ask for help while continuing to keep your post-graduation goals in sight.
This is a significant and difficult time in the world, but there will come a time when we begin to talk about this pandemic as a marker in history, and no longer the present. When that time comes, we want you to be prepared to thrive in your postsecondary and career goals.
So, to celebrate you and all the accomplishments you and your classmates have achieved, here are some words of wisdom and congratulations from some of our College Now team:
From Lee Friedman, CEO of College Now Greater Cleveland:
Congratulations to the Class of 2020 on your graduation – though I know this isn’t what any of you expected when you began your senior year. College Now is thrilled for you as you move into the next phase of your life, and we know that the resiliency, strength, and adaptability you have shown at the end of this school year will serve you well throughout the rest of your lives. We are honored to have played a part in your education so far and wish you nothing but the best in your futures. We look forward to learning of all your successes.
From Anna, Team Mentor
Congratulations on completing your high school education! You should feel very proud of your hard work and determination. Graduating from high school is an important accomplishment, and it is an especially huge feat during such a challenging time. The perseverance you have shown this semester is a testament to your ability to overcome whatever hurdles you may face. No matter what comes next, know that you can pursue your dreams. We wish you all the best for your continued success and look forward to seeing what you accomplish!
From Jasmine, Team Mentor
The long nights, the early days, the finals, and the games… Your mentor, your memories, I hope you hold on to them dearly.
Congratulations to our Seniors who are graduating from college! You are all a part of amazing history, and have managed to persevere during challenging times. You have all worked so hard, and now it’s time to celebrate! I’m so proud of you all, and I know your mentors are too! You are the reason we’re able to have a successful program. College Now is always here if you need us. I know that you will do amazing things in life, and wish you the best in your future endeavors. Cheers to you all! – Jasmine on behalf of Team Mentor
From Cynthia, Manager of IT and Data Services, who says, “My best words [for this year’s graduating class] are someone else’s:”
It Couldn’t be Done – Edgar Guest
Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.
Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it”;
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.
There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.
From Cathy, Manager, GEAR UP Parma:
Congratulations! You’ve come this far, just remember don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do.
From Tonya, Adult Programs Specialist:
2020 Seniors…I admire you. I admire you not only for what you have been through but for the way you have handled yourselves during this most difficult time. No one expected that this would happen during your senior year. The pain you feel, the frustration you have, and the sense of helplessness that you are experiencing are being felt across our entire country and the globe by millions of students in the same situation.
As bleak as all of this seems, I want to remind you of what great people do. Great people, in any walk of life, try to make the best of a bad situation. Eventually, after all of the frustration and despair, great people begin to see all those lemons for the sweetness they can yield (lemonade) instead of the sourness they initially represent.
Great people begin to think about how they can learn from what they are experiencing. Thus, I hope you learn some valuable lessons from these last five weeks. I hope you have learned how important family is, how important your parents are, how important school is, how important teachers are, and how extraordinary ordinary people can be. Grocery store workers, mail carriers, doctors, nurses, teachers, sanitation workers, electrical workers, and food service employees have all sacrificed tremendously to make things better for the rest of us. I hope you learn that all of us can be extraordinary if we truly want to be.
To the class of 2020, College Now congratulates you on all your achievements! We are proud of all of our graduating seniors. We hope that you are finding ways to celebrate with your families and loved ones in unique and safe ways, and we look forward to seeing what your future holds.
Caring for Your Mental Health
By Olivia Rawley, AmeriCorps Career Pathways Coach
One of the things being discussed among experts amidst the coronavirus pandemic is the negative effects social isolation can have on our mental health. Maybe you have felt it, maybe you have not, but I know I certainly have. The days bleed together like a surreal “Groundhog Day” montage. A get together with friends over a coffee or dinner seems like a distant memory. The walls of our home have become confining. And, as graduating seniors, you are probably feeling angry; this is supposed to be a time in your life of celebration, filled with parties and gatherings with friends and family.
It’s okay to feel angry or to despair; we are all feeling a loss in some shape or form. With that being said, it’s important that we prioritize our mental health as we attempt to deal with this negativity flooding into our lives.
What does “prioritizing your mental health” even look like? Well, it can look different for everyone since each one of us has a unique mental landscape, but I believe it means developing some sort of self-care practice. Self-care is a bit of a buzz word these days, but with good reason. We cannot expect to show up as our best selves if we are mentally burnt out.
So, what are some things we can do for our self-care practice?
TRY SOME RADICAL SELF-COMPASSION.
This is a mental practice. It means being kind to yourself when you are having an “inner-dialogue.” You know: the voice in your head. And it is very easy for this voice to turn into something critical, especially during times of stress. Most of us don’t even realize when this is happening.
One of the ways we can quiet the voice in our head is to meditate. I can see how this can be daunting. An hour a day sitting on a cushion (or more!) doing absolutely nothing?! Forget it. Netflix, here I come! But meditation doesn’t have to be that formal. It could simply be taking a minute or two out of your day to take notice of your breathing. Or, to make it even less formal, it could simply be a moment of a pause to be mindful of how you’re feeling in the present moment—no breathing exercises required.
To sum it all up, simply take time to SLOW DOWN and let yourself simply be without the judgmental voice in your head.
CREATE SOMETHING. ANYTHING.
I think it’s easy to adopt a rigid mental framework around creativity. Our thoughts jump to painting landscapes or writing poetry in iambic pentameter. But creativity isn’t just limited to the arts. It can be anything.
For example, maybe you must create a PowerPoint presentation for your schoolwork. This is a creative opportunity! Instead of thinking about it begrudgingly and simply copy and pasting words on a slide, make it your own. Put in some exotic colors. Make your own graphic on Canva. Look up some inspirational quotes from a person you admire.
Another place to exercise creativity is your room. We’ve all been spending way too much time in there, and maybe the setup has become a bit stale. Now is the time to channel your interior decorating skills and change it up! Move the location of your bed, change up the pictures on your wall – anything that will help freshen up your space.
I say all this to say: be creative about your creativity. And if you do want to paint landscapes, write poetry, or make a short film—go for it!
USE TECHNOLOGY TO CONNECT.
We are social beings, and connection is vital to our mental health. We can’t forget about the people who are important to us; reach out to a friend and talk on the phone. Yes, you heard me—I am actually suggesting a phone call. Or, alternatively, you can have a group “hang out” on Zoom. Yes, it may be weird looking at all of your friends on a grid, but at least you can see their faces and read their expressions.
I would encourage you when having conversations with your friends to get vulnerable. Talk about how you’re really feeling and forget superficiality. This is a time where we can grow our capacity for empathy.
Also, maybe reach out to a family member or friend that maybe you wouldn’t typically reach out to. Because, why not? This can be an opportunity to build connections that maybe you wouldn’t have otherwise in your normal day-to-day life, and to let that person know you are thinking of them.
Nature is soothing, and we often don’t take advantage of it enough in our everyday life. But humans need to see some green! Take a walk if you can, or find an aesthetically pleasing spot to sit and watch and listen. Take a camera and photograph something you find beautiful, or maybe take a notebook and journal about how you’re feeling in the moment. Hopefully, you’ll find that you feel more at ease.
MOVE YOUR BODY.
There are a bunch of YouTube channels now that offer free at-home workouts ranging from yoga to high intensity interval training. But moving your body doesn’t just relate to “formal” exercise – it can be anything that forces your body out of stasis. You can dance; you can talk a walk; you can garden; you can play tug with your dog. Just get the juices flowing!
FIND SOMEONE TO KEEP YOU ACCOUNTABLE.
This is a time to find a mentor. A mentor forces you to check-in and evaluate what is happening in your life. A mentor is someone with whom you can discuss what is working/what is not working your life right now. And if something isn’t working, they can give you advice on what you can do to improve and get you back on track. You can share your goals with this person, and they can help you devise a strategy on how to achieve them.
A mentor is really additional support, and that’s something we all need. Thankfully, if you are a College Now Scholarship recipient, you are automatically placed in College Now’s Mentoring Program. This person will be there to guide you and lend a helping hand through those formative college years!
There you have it: self-care. Obviously, there are many more things you can do for your self-care because the great thing about self-care is that it’s personal to you.
Also know that it’s okay to not be okay. Maybe some of the things on this list seem too overwhelming to you, and you are only able to do the bare minimum right now. That’s okay. Take a nap. And, don’t forget that you can always reach out to a professional if you are in need of formal counseling. Mental Health America, NAMI Cleveland, or any local health institution are reliable places to look for professional guidance and advice. College Now is also here if you need support or advice on where to turn. Do not hesitate to reach out to your advisor or contact at College Now if you need additional support.
Until next time,
Making a Postsecondary Decision during COVID-19
By Olivia Rawley, College Now AmeriCorps Career Pathways Coach
There is a lot of uncertainty right now regarding the Fall 2020 semester. Many of the common questions coming up in conversation with high school seniors are things like: Is there even going to be a fall semester? Will it be delayed? Is everything going to be online? Should I take a gap year? Will they cut tuition rates if everything is online?
All of these questions are valid. I understand if you, as a graduating high school senior, are feeling overwhelmed because of it; transitioning from high school to college is already a huge life change, and now you have to deal with a pandemic on top of it?! Whew. Just typing it out makes me feel overwhelmed. With that being said, how do we tackle this problem and start to make a college decision?
Check your prospective universities for COVD-19 updates and announcements.
Every university should have information on how they are operating to ensure the safety of its students during this pandemic. For example, I googled “Ohio State COVID-19 updates” and was taken to the appropriate web page that detailed any pertinent information a current or prospective student could need right now.
Many universities have chosen to move all their summer classes online. The debate about whether in-person classes will resume in the fall is still on the table. When will we know? No one knows at the moment, which is why you should be checking weekly so you can make a better-informed decision.
Consider the geography and size of a university.
When thinking about prospective universities, this seems like a common question. Some students want to be at a big school in a big city, while some students want a small liberal arts school in a rural town. Yet, it is totally different considering this factor in the context of the coronavirus.
Is this university in a large and dense urban area where I am likely to be in close proximity to people? Is the campus spread out enough where I am likely to practice social distancing safely when moving from building to building and class to class? How big are the class sizes? And, if the class sizes are large, does the university have the resources to move these classes to a bigger, open space if need be?
Also, consider the healthcare amenities in the surrounding area. For example, you often have to travel further for medical treatment when in a rural area. It can be scary to think about college in the context of the nearest hospital, but we are living through an unprecedented modern pandemic – which means considering your healthcare options on or near campus is more important than ever.
Speaking of scary, COVID-19 is more than a physical health concern. The pandemic can take a massive toll on your mental health, especially when coupled with a major life transition such as matriculating to college. It may also be worth it to check out your prospective campuses’ mental health services and offerings should you find yourself needing to talk to a professional at any time during your first semester.
Call the admissions office.
Do not feel like you are bothering anyone if you call! The admissions team is there to answer any questions that you may have so that you can make a better-informed postsecondary decision. When you are talking to someone from the admissions staff, I recommend that you make sure you are receiving clear and open answers. How they respond to your questions says a lot about the university. If they are vague or elusive when addressing your concerns, you might want to consider going somewhere else.
Now is the time to be resourceful!
Ultimately, how you respond to making this decision is up to you. You can either choose to respond actively or passively. It might be tempting to act passively in this situation, but being proactive and getting all the information you can ahead of time will help you make sure you are going into your fall semester as well-informed as possible. Even if things do not go as anticipated – whether that means all fall classes are moved online or are cancelled altogether – you will hopefully feel comforted knowing that you did what you could to make an informed decision. That means reading the university newspaper, reaching out to current professors and additional staff, and joining the class of 2024 Facebook groups to get a sense of the community you might be paired with.
I hope this helps as you are faced with this big decision. And, I want to remind you again that you are not alone trying to tread through this uncertainty. If you have any other questions or concerns, reach out to your College Now advisor. We are happy to provide support, advice, or serve as a listening ear as you talk through your fall options.
Until next time,