Starting college and am a little scared... - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-20-2011, 10:36 PM
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So I start university on Monday and I am a little scared. I'll still live at home and drive to school (an hour an a half Mon-Fri lol) but my concern is the workload. In the past in high school and community college (I have my associates) I could get by with not studying a lot but now I fear that the material will be overwhelming and all my time will be spent studying. I also fear that the type of papers I used to write in community college which got me A's and B's there will not be up to par with university quality work. I found a lot of the classes I took in community college to be fairly easy. I guess this is in part because of the professors I had.

I'm going for my BA in Anthropology and minoring in Chinese studies. How was university for you guys? Was it hard? Did you make it through easy enough? Help!!! Thanks

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#2 Old 08-20-2011, 10:45 PM
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why be anxious? it won't be overwhelming, unless you are determined to be a top student, which means a lot of work. otherwise, you can schlep through, if that's what you want to do.
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#3 Old 08-20-2011, 10:48 PM
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Organization is key. The workload might be more than what you're used to in high school. Just make sure you take note of all the deadlines for exams and papers and stay on top of your readings throughout the semester rather than cramming the night before an exam. I enjoyed my university days... I suppose the first year took some adjustment. Since you're taking a lot of arts courses, there would probably be quite a bit of readings required. Also take time to join some campus associations or clubs... I enjoyed them immensely when I was in university and you can meet a lot of people.

Your university is an hour and a half away? That's pretty far.
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#4 Old 08-21-2011, 12:23 AM
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I am in the exact same boat as you are. I just finished my associates degree, I slacked through but managed to pull a 3.7 gpa.

When I am feeling stressed I try to think of all of the people that I know that have bachelors degrees. I ask myself "are these people more intelligent or studious than I am"? The answer is a resounding no. Not that I am conceited, I just know a lot of people that saw college as a big party. You will do great! The fact that you are worried about how you will do shows that you are invested enough to succeed.
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#5 Old 08-21-2011, 12:28 AM
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There is a vast difference between the workload and the entire structure of most community colleges and universities! You are wise to be thinking about this. One of the biggest changes that people are not adequately prepared for is that in CC there are many ways to raise your grade (attendance, extra credit, presentations, papers, homework etc) and at university it is often simply EXAMS that determine your grade!

Study, find others to have study groups with, utilize tutoring if necessary, make flashcards, read, record classes and listen back to the lectures and you'll do well. You're a smart, savvy, dedicated person.

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#6 Old 08-21-2011, 01:35 AM
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I didn't think it was that tough. Honestly the main thing is to go to class. Sounds easy but that was the hardest part for me. Make friends with at least a couple people in each class as well. Get their phone numbers and have them handy. Something will come up at some point and they will be life savers. Other than that the only advice I have is that if you haven't already figured out your learning style do it ASAP. You are very likely going to have to retain a lot of information for exams and if you don't know the best way to do this you are going to waste a lot of time and energy going about it the wrong way.

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#7 Old 08-21-2011, 03:11 AM
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My understanding is that students who transfer from a community college to a four year college do as well or better than those who start at a four year college.

I think you should be focused on your school work. If you make that your main focus with a little fun thrown in (plus if you will be working), you should be fine. I live in a state college town and I'm always amazed at how much time and money some of these students seem to have.
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#8 Old 08-21-2011, 03:35 AM
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Even if it does take most of your time to study and get through, keep telling yourself that it's only temporary and the end result will be so worth it! Life will be so much better once you're done!
Is that an hour and a half travel time one-way? If so, that's already three hours out of your day!
Try not to let it overwhelm you...don't 'project' and cause yourself too much anxiety. Go in with as positive an attitude as you can muster up and see how the first few weeks go. We'll be pulling for you!
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#9 Old 08-21-2011, 05:25 AM
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Your university is an hour and a half away? That's pretty far.

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Is that an hour and a half travel time one-way? If so, that's already three hours out of your day!

This would be one of my concerns. Do you live in an area that gets harsh weather in the winter? That would make the trip even longer. Did you arrange your class schedule where you don't have huge time gaps in between classes?
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#10 Old 08-21-2011, 08:23 AM
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I went to a community college, got an associates, and now I go to American University, a research university. My first semester, not including the essays for midterms and finals, I wrote at least 10 papers. My second semester, however, I only wrote about 2 or 3 papers. This upcoming semester, I don't foresee myself writing more than 3 or 4 papers, maybe 5 at the most.

Your community college papers probably won't be good enough, but your professors should, if they're any good, help you to become a better writer.
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#11 Old 08-21-2011, 10:50 AM
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A lot of good advice here. I would add 4 things, based on my experience:

1. Make good use of the down time. Record lectures and listen to them during the commute. If you have a gap between classes, find a quiet corner of the library and get stuff done.

2. Join or create study groups, especially for the difficult classes. Do it with people who are serious and avoid the ones who are trying to coast by on the work of others. It can make a huge difference in retention to hear other people explain their understanding of the material.

3. Seek out free learning opportunities offered on campus. My university had regular workshops that explained how to use library resources to do research, and there was a learning center that had regular writing workshops that went into the methodology of writing research papers. Those helped me considerably.

4. Every faculty member is required to be available to their students for a certain number of office hours per week. Make use of it. Just don't monopolize it or waste their time.

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#12 Old 08-21-2011, 10:54 AM
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I said all but number 4. I agree with number 4 too.
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A lot of good advice here. I would add 4 things, based on my experience:

1. Make good use of the down time. Record lectures and listen to them during the commute. If you have a gap between classes, find a quiet corner of the library and get stuff done.

2. Join or create study groups, especially for the difficult classes. Do it with people who are serious and avoid the ones who are trying to coast by on the work of others. It can make a huge difference in retention to hear other people explain their understanding of the material.

3. Seek out free learning opportunities offered on campus. My university had regular workshops that explained how to use library resources to do research, and there was a learning center that had regular writing workshops that went into the methodology of writing research papers. Those helped me considerably.

4. Every faculty member is required to be available to their students for a certain number of office hours per week. Make use of it. Just don't monopolize it or waste their time.


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#13 Old 08-21-2011, 10:57 AM
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There is a vast difference between the workload and the entire structure of most community colleges and universities! You are wise to be thinking about this. One of the biggest changes that people are not adequately prepared for is that in CC there are many ways to raise your grade (attendance, extra credit, presentations, papers, homework etc) and at university it is often simply EXAMS that determine your grade!

This point is key.

The only advise I can give is to study hard and party hard, but never at the same time. As someone else said, organize and stay on top of your studies throughout the term, and you will be best prepared for your exams and will better retain the knowledge to carry further into your academic career. Professors will notice your effort, and this will help you down the road.

Enjoy yourself. You are in for one of the funnest times of your life.
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#14 Old 08-21-2011, 11:02 AM
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Yeah it's one way and I'm out of school by like 3:30 at the latest. The school I'm at does have a hotel that you can I could stay in if the weather gets bad. It can get bad here sometimes in northern Illinois. Plus, I know a couple of people who live and go to school there as well. I decided to commute because it would cost me an extra 10,000 dollars to live there and then an extra 2,000 or so for a meal plan (they do have vegan ones!).

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#15 Old 08-21-2011, 11:32 AM
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that drive will be a killer over the long haul. to me, that's the biggest problem you're facing, especially if you're going to do it 5 days a week.

i'd cut the apron strings, move near campus and work a part time job.
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#16 Old 08-21-2011, 11:35 AM
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Yeah it's one way and I'm out of school by like 3:30 at the latest. The school I'm at does have a hotel that you can I could stay in if the weather gets bad. It can get bad here sometimes in northern Illinois. Plus, I know a couple of people who live and go to school there as well. I decided to commute because it would cost me an extra 10,000 dollars to live there and then an extra 2,000 or so for a meal plan (they do have vegan ones!).

That's great about the hotel and having friends up there! I have a friend that commutes about an hour each day to her university and having someone to stay with overnight during really bad snow storms really comes in handy for her. She also stays on campus in between her classes and utilitizes that time by staying in the library and doing homework/papers instead of driving all the way home and back wasting gas even if she's got really large time gaps inbetween classes.

It's good that you get done at a decent time so you won't be too exhausted by the time you get home.

Good luck and don't let your nerves about everything overwhelm you . You'll do great!
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#17 Old 08-21-2011, 08:15 PM
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Whenever you get stressed, just remember that George Bush managed to get through Harvard.

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#18 Old 08-21-2011, 09:50 PM
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The thing that is different between a university and, say, high school, is that you really have to be disciplined on your own. In most classes, you will not have homework due every day. There will likely be a syllabus with reading that you are supposed to do, but most classes do not use pop quizzes or assignments to make sure you actually do it. It's up to you to keep up with the material; no one will hold your hand through it. And it's so important that you do keep up, or else class lectures won't be as helpful and you will have a really hard time on those rare nights when you do have an assignment due or have to study for a test the next day.

So, do the reading on time, even though the next day there will be no consequences. The consequences come much later.
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#19 Old 08-22-2011, 07:12 AM
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Good luck and enjoy your new adventure!

I read somewhere that 90 % of success is showing up every day, so my suggestion is go to every single class. No matter what.
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#20 Old 08-22-2011, 07:23 AM
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Good luck and enjoy your new adventure!

I read somewhere that 90 % of success is showing up every day, so my suggestion is go to every single class. No matter what.

I agree. Attendance is very, very important.
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#21 Old 08-23-2011, 02:47 PM
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First two days went great. I guess as of now I don't have anything to fear because to my knowledge none of my classes require papers and the only projects I'll be doing are group ones. One of my classes grades are based on just 3 tests that are only multiple choice and true false haha. I shouldn't get my hopes up yet though because it sounds easy but they could be a bit hard. I'll have to study a lot.

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#22 Old 08-23-2011, 03:26 PM
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First two days went great. I guess as of now I don't have anything to fear because to my knowledge none of my classes require papers and the only projects I'll be doing are group ones. One of my classes grades are based on just 3 tests that are only multiple choice and true false haha. I shouldn't get my hopes up yet though because it sounds easy but they could be a bit hard. I'll have to study a lot.

That's wonderful news!!
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#23 Old 08-23-2011, 05:00 PM
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First two days went great. I guess as of now I don't have anything to fear because to my knowledge none of my classes require papers and the only projects I'll be doing are group ones. One of my classes grades are based on just 3 tests that are only multiple choice and true false haha. I shouldn't get my hopes up yet though because it sounds easy but they could be a bit hard. I'll have to study a lot.

No papers? What are you studying?
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#24 Old 08-23-2011, 05:04 PM
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I hate true-false tests/quizzes.
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#25 Old 08-23-2011, 05:07 PM
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Great news!
I went to uni the same distance away. Half way through the year I decided to get the train instead, cut my journey down by half an hour, doesn't seem a lot but it really made a difference to me, I wasn't as tired.

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#26 Old 08-23-2011, 09:41 PM
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No papers? What are you studying?

No syllabus and teacher said anything about any papers...
The classes I am taking are:
Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology
Introduction to Physical Anthropology
Anthropology and the Environment
Chinese Language I

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#27 Old 08-24-2011, 05:20 AM
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No syllabus and teacher said anything about any papers...
The classes I am taking are:
Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology
Introduction to Physical Anthropology
Anthropology and the Environment
Chinese Language I

Those look like interesting classes.
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#28 Old 08-24-2011, 09:15 PM
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Good idea ladymetal but no trains go from here to there It's not that bad though. It only sucks when it's like 85+ degrees out and it's super hot in my car.

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#29 Old 08-24-2011, 11:29 PM
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First two days went great. I guess as of now I don't have anything to fear because to my knowledge none of my classes require papers and the only projects I'll be doing are group ones. One of my classes grades are based on just 3 tests that are only multiple choice and true false haha. I shouldn't get my hopes up yet though because it sounds easy but they could be a bit hard. I'll have to study a lot.

Good for you. Staying focused and studying is the key. I only have a lowly associates degree in nursing. Though it provides a decent income. I do remember though horror stories of how much paper work would be thrown at you the first day of nursing school. "you'll be overwhelmed. blah blah blah" I found it to be easy. Stressful at times but easy. I was also 30, so I studied a lot. I would take one hour a day to watch TV and let my mind veg, but that was it.
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#30 Old 08-25-2011, 12:00 AM
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That's not "lowly" at all. There is a lot of tough coursework and many long hours of practicum that go into earning that degree.
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I only have a lowly associates degree in nursing.


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