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The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

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Advice for Incoming College Freshmen

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Courtesy of pfhstheroar.com/

I interviewed three college freshmen who graduated from LFHS in 2023. Mariella Haubner at Ohio State University, Paige Clements at Auburn University, and Shaya Iona who is currently taking a gap semester but attended Ruskin School of Acting last semester. Here is their advice they have for high school seniors about going into college for how they adjusted to this new chapter in their lives.

What was your biggest misconception about college before you started?

Clements said, “My biggest misconception was the amount of free time I would have. I thought that I wouldn’t be busy at all, but I definitely have found ways to get involved and make the most of my time while still leaving enough time for me to do the things for myself.”

What are your tips for managing your time in college?

Haubner said, “I never really utilized my study halls in high school, but coming to college using the time in between classes to get your work done is so helpful.  Especially if you have an hour or more in between your classes, that’s a great time to go to a library on campus or another place(not your dorm) to do work because if you go home you’re just going to nap, at least that’s what I do. Make sure to be mindful about how you’re feeling though. If you’re exhausted go take that nap but if you have the energy or are on a roll 100% go get your work done because you’re not going to want to do it at 7 pm.”

How did you find your community or make friends on campus?

Iona said, “You never know how you will find your friends in college. This is something I was super nervous about but it just naturally happens over time. I found one of my friends by simply asking for the wifi password. You also meet loads of people through connections, I met many of my friends through a friend of a friend.”

What resources or services have been most useful for you?

Haubner said, “I have ADHD so the student services (SLDS) has been extremely helpful. I take all my tests in a different building with smaller groups and they are super good about answering your emails on time and making sure you’re getting everything you need. Being in college is a huge adjustment though, I have to schedule all my exams and my schedules on my own with no one looking over my shoulder, so take advantage of your advisor and let them help you! They’re there to help, and if they don’t respond to the first email, send another don’t be afraid they have a ton of students they have to work with.” 

How have you adjusted to living away from home?

Clements said,  “First semester was definitely hard especially since I practically moved across the country, so going home wasn’t easy. Thankfully, there were a few breaks here and there throughout the semester where I was able to go home and see my family. My biggest piece of advice is making sure you keep your family in the loop of what’s going on in your life. I would call my mom and dad walking to class almost everyday which helped me a lot.”

What do you wish you had known before starting college?

Iona said, “Something I wish I knew before starting college was how much money I will be spending! Whether you grab food with your friends, go shopping, go to a concert, or whatever it may be, you will spend a lot! So, make sure you save some money before you go to school.”

Haubner said, “Even if you think that you’re not going to be upset when your parents leave, you most likely will be. I tried to prep myself and tell myself I wouldn’t cry, but I did and that’s totally normal. My friends at home are my best friends I’ll have for life and I had this mindset that I didn’t need to make a ton of  friends at school since I already found my people, but trust me it helps so much and that’s an extremely lonely mindset to have(so don’t do that). Making new friends and allowing myself to expand my circle was the best thing I could’ve done! You don’t need 10 ‘best friends’ but just having a close circle changes a lot. Especially for me going to a school with 60K people, I was terrified that I wouldn’t make any genuine friendships, but I was so wrong. I have met some of the best people ever here and I’m so happy that I did.”

Do you have any other advice for any high school seniors worried about adjusting to this new life?

Iona said, “I know you always hear this, and it may seem like really obvious advice, but please try not to compare yourself to what you see on social media. You have to keep in mind that people are only sharing the highlights, they are showing you what they want you to see and when they look or are at their best. No one’s college experience is perfect, you will definitely have your ups and downs, it’s your first time away from home, first time being a part of a new community, first time experiencing college life in general! I know it’s easier said than done but try to take it one day at a time and slowly but surely you will find your people and get used to all of these new experiences!”

 

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Olivia McIntyre
Olivia McIntyre, Staff Writer
Senior Olivia McIntyre is excited to be a first-year writer for The Forest Scout. She’s involved in a variety of clubs and activities such as Madrigals and the Human Rights Club. Outside of school you can find her hanging out with friends, listening to music, watching movies, or playing video games.  
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