By Alexis Mason
College Prep Program Work Study student
You’re never fully prepared for what college has in store for you, even though you may think you are. I graduated from Mastery Charter High School Lenfest Campus in June of 2013. I was able to graduate high school with the tools I needed to be successful for college academically, and with a FULL scholarship to Temple University. So I should have no worries right? Wrong! I was nervous about going to college because that meant that I was an adult, and that I needed to handle things on my own. I had perfect attendance and was an honor roll student in high school. I was a part of Student Government and was captain of the volleyball team. I thought college was going to be just like high school, where I could simply do the same things that I did when I was in high school. However, college is a whole different ball park!
I moved into Johnson Hall and realized that I was on my own once my mom kissed me goodbye and told me to call her when I needed her. For the first few months, I was okay. I was joining different organizations and meeting new people every day. However, the course load was heavier than that in high school. In college, professors only care about their class. They do not care how much work you have in another class—they just want you to do their work, or it will be a problem and your grade will demonstrate that. My planner was my “best friend” my first semester—it still is. Even though I had my planner, time management was not my friend. I would find myself sleeping instead of doing my assignments and readings for the next class. I still do that sometimes, because I really need sleep.
College isn’t as nerve-racking as many people make it seem. I met some of my closest friends in college. I am currently a junior at Temple University, and I have to say going to Temple is one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I am a Resident Assistant (RA), I am on one of the BEST collegiate step teams, and I love my major. There isn’t much more that I can ask for in a college experience. I have friends that I can honestly say want the best for me and who I want the best for as well. I can see these people at my future wedding, that’s how close we are. The only thing that I will say about friends is that you do not really know who your friends are until maybe junior or senior year of college. I say this because when you first come to college, you are excited to meet so many new people. However, people come and go; your real friends will be there until the end.
You can ask people all the questions that you want, but you will never be prepared until you actually experience college for yourself. I say this because your college experience is based on what you make of it. You get to decide who you want to be friends with, who you want to tell all your secrets to, and even who you want to date. All decisions are up to you to make. College is supposed to be the time of your life, where you find yourself trying to truly figure out who you are as a person, without your family telling you what you can and cannot do. Use that to your advantage!
Advice: Go to every class, but use your skips strategically. Use a planner for your assignments. Be open to meeting new people, but be cautious about who you call your friend. Search for new opportunities that will boost your résumé, like becoming a Resident Assistant... and join organizations, but not too many!
Free Library of Philadelphia
The Office of Public Service Support (TOPSS)
College Prep Program
1901 Vine Street, Room 5A
Philadelphia, PA 19103