Stepping onto a college campus is enough to overwhelm anyone, no matter age or background. You either came straight to college after high school or decided to take a few years off. If you are straight from high school, the responsibility and challenge can be tremendous; however, if you are a non-traditional student, the “young ones” can be intimidating. Realize all of you are in the same position and have similar concerns.You are the only one responsible now for scheduling classes, attending class, completing assignments, and advocating for yourself. Instructors and professors can range from extremely helpful and friendly to cold and uncaring. In your past, you may have had others advocate for you and tell you right from wrong but now you are in control. This is your chance to take full responsibility for yourself and put your life into perspective.
Completing paperwork for financial aid, acquiring textbooks, identifying the location of your classrooms all require meeting many new people. While there are still some rude people out there, many more are pleasant and helpful. When meeting someone who is not pleasant, instead of becoming upset, dismiss yourself ASAP and find someone else. During your experience in college, you will be able to practice self-advocacy, self-understanding, pride, confidence and patience.
Quick Campus Dictionary:
Dean – the person in charge of that college or division
Department Head – the person in charge of that particular department
Professor – teacher who ranks above an associate professor classes
Assistant Professor – ranks between an instructor and professor (usually Ph.D. degree)
Instructor – teacher ranks below assistant professor (usually Master’s level degree)
Advisor – person within your academic college who assists with academic guidance
Financial Aid – the department who assists with the finances of college tuition (ex. Pell
Grants, loans, Tops, etc) located on the first floor of Elkins
Undergraduate Student – student working towards a Bachelor’s or Associates’ degree
Upper-class Student – student classified as sophomore, junior or senior
Graduate Student – student working towards Master’s or doctorate degree
If you are having a difficult time handling this transition or have high stressors in your life and need help emotionally, make an appointment with the University Counseling Center at 448-4080. We are here to assist you and help teach you coping skills to handle the stress in your life. The UCC will provide you an unbiased, open atmosphere in which you can explore your life, current issues and find the direction you need for happiness.
University Counseling Center
Stacey Guidry, Counselor