How to Fight the Pre-College Jitters
Hello, prospective Keuka class of 2016. This post is particularly for you guys. I have been reading your posts, and a number of you seem to be worried about college and questioning whether or not this will be the right choice to make. Therefore, this post will address those areas of concern so you can have a little more insight and make a more informed decision. I hope this helps!
Concern #1: What if college is super boring?
College is what you make it. There are so many opportunities to get involved, and there is such a great variety. The thing is, how full your plate is, is up to you . I can honestly say, that anyone who wants to have fun, will.
Here is a small list of some of the things we have to offer at Keuka alone:
- Open Mic Nights (singing, comedy, and any other acts)
- Comedians (we have a lot of these guys come in, sometimes we even have magician comedians)
- Musicians (pop, acoustic, country, jazz, you name it)
- Bingo Nights (free stuff–enough said)
- Intramural Sports and Games (dodgeball is big)
- Art Club (make crafts and provide artistic opportunities to the rest of campus)
- Magic (the card game) Groups
- Adventure Club (go on white water rafting trips, backpacking trips, etc.)
- Boating (seasonal)
- Holiday Activities (Easter Egg Hunt, Make-Your-Own Ornaments, Pumpkin Decorating)
- Community Service Opportunities (this is a big deal at Keuka, and there are so many ways to give back)
- Bearers of Ancient Kultures United, BAKU’s Annual Fashion Show (and there’s an after party)
- Spring Weekend (3 days of fun, fun, fun, and fireworks!)
- Speakers (we’ve covered topics like “Life After Keuka” and “Domestic Abuse”)
- Dance and Step Team Showcases
- Movie Nights and Showings
- Equestrian Club (there is a nearby stables where lessons, leasing, and horse boarding are available, and I believe they are hoping to go competetive)
- Drama Club (do improv, skits, and so much more)
- Tabula Rasa (trips to coffee roasters, breweries, Underground Railroad sites, planetariums, etc.)
- Multicultural Events
- Bible Groups
- Campus Activities Board (CAB)–you get to do a lot of programming
This is only a small list of the stuff you can do. For a complete list of clubs, go here. Also, check the college calendar to see what stuff is going on right now (the calendar does not list everything, so there is even more to do).
Concern #2: What if the workload is too much to handle?
This is a very legitimate concern–college work is more analytical and more independent than in high school, but the system is set up to help you–not hinder you. There are a lot of resources that will help you with any problems you may discover, and, as my advisor did, your faculty advisor will not let you take on a daunting full course load (18/19 credits) your first semester here. Even though I desperately wanted to, I couldn’t. Which is fine because that first semester is your opportunity to adapt to develop a schedule, to figure out best how you learn and time-manage (if you don’t know already, but even if you do, the different context might alter that some).
Here is a list of some of the resources available to you at Keuka College:
Academic Success at Keuka (ASK). This one of the most important academic help centers on campus. Here is a list of some of the resources it provides:
- Academic Counseling (e.g. help with time management strategies)
- A Writing Center (for help with all of your papers)
- Disability Services (if you have a documented learning disability, you can receive notes from classes and alternate testing options)
- A Blog, which includes quick information if you are in a hurry
- Peer Content and Writing Tutors (if you feel more comfortable working with peers, then these are the people for you; they are also pretty flexible and most meet by appointment)
- Outside of the ASK Office, every student also has an academic advisor, typically a professor who teaches in his or her major. These people help make sure you have all of the courses you need to graduate, help you find Field Periods, and can become great friends. I am pals with both of mine!
If you are struggling with your course load, it may not be for academic reasons. Here is a list of other resources available on campus that will help you manage your personal and physical well-being.
- The Center for Spiritual Life (CSL): Eric Detar, the college chaplain is one of the nicest guys I know, and he is so supportive and caring. He always says “Hi” to me, and he does a lot to increase awareness and respect of the various religions on campus.
- Keuka College also has a health center that offers free condoms and other services, and a counseling center which is staffed by professional counselors and Peer Advocates (a position which requires application and training). I have friends that utilize both of these resources to relieve personal stress, and other issues.
- The Office of Multicultural Affairs supports multiculteral clubs, brings in speakers, and hosts events to promote awareness on campus. Chevy, the director, is particularly wonderful at leading these events. Also, her office is almost always open, and all types of students go in there to hang out, relax, or talk to her. Keuka is also about the personal connections, and the support staff is phenomenal at recognizing that.
- We also have a Diversity Task Force which, made up of your peers, addresses instances of hate crimes or prejudice and promotes equality and fairness.
- Also, we have an LGBT resource center which promotes equality for the gay community and allies, and provides useful information (and events like A Day of Silence)–it’s also a friendly, chill place to hang out; we also have a Women’s Center, which promotes and educates people on women’s issues through events such as condom bingo and The Vagina Monologues.
- And if you’re concerned about living on campus, we have an excellent residence life staff that includes full-time Residence Directors and peer Residence Assistants, who are trained to help students adapt to residence life on campus and other living issues. RA’s also put on tons of fun dorm events like Twister Tournaments, crayon art, movies nights, and other cool stuff.
Finally, if you are concerned not just about your college course load, but also how it will effect your professional development, or what you will do after college, we have resources for you too!
- The Center for Experiential Learning oversees everything from work study employment, to Field Period experiences, to TeamWorks!, to the co-curricular transcript. They can help you develop your resume, find field periods, and get jobs on campus.
- The Center also offers career help, which includes job fairs, career and graduate schoolcounseling, tips on how to rock an interview, links to other resources, and so much more. At Keuka, we are all about not just helping you succeed during your time here, but after as well.
- Networking with alumni. Every year, we always have the Alumni Networking Fair, which allows students to see what past Keuka students have done with their degrees, find potential Field PEriod placements, and make connections. The alumni are so involved and so wonderful.
All of these resources we have at Keuka are here to support you, and not just the academic you, but the whole you. College is not about being too difficult that you cannot succeed. Rather, it is about challenging you as you learn and grow, and helping you and guiding you along the way.
Concern # 3: How will I fit into the social atmosphere?
This is another legitimate concern. You’re being thrown into a new environment with a lot of people you do not know. But here’s the thing–most people in your class will also not know anyone, or only a few people. Before classes begin, new students participate in Transition Week, which, with the help of a peer mentor, will introduce you to college life, set you your email account, and help you get to know your classmates. As someone who has been through it before, I can say, “Never Fear.” It’s like camp where everyone is looking to make new friends. (I can also say that I am still in touch with old ones from high school, thanks to Facebook.)
Here is a list of things you can do to help establish new connections–and don’t worry–college is so different from high school. There are no cliques, and people are people. We respect diversity, and we act maturely (most of us, at least). Trust me on this.
- Leave your door open (when you’re in your room). Seriously, this says, hey, I’m here, I’m open. Especially in Davis, peers will pop their heads in to say hello, or chat for a few. Who knows, they may even invite you to hang out, watch a movie, or play a game. I spent a lot of time door-hopping in Davis my freshman year, but not until the second semester–so don’t wait–the first few weeks are the best times to make new friends!
- Join a club, intramural sport or something. Getting involved will be an excellent gateway to making new friends (and upperclassmen friends too). Being involved in shared goals outside of the classroom is a wonderful way to make strong bonds (I found a lot of close friends, primarily in Drama Club).
- Start up a study group. It is also good to connect with your classmates academically, especially those in your major. Most majors at Keuka are relatively small (our two big ones are OT and Education), so it should not be hard for you to know most of the people in your major (if not all). For example, I have been part of the “English Herd” where, since we all have the same required classes, a large majority will “travel” from American Literature to Poetry Studies together.
- Don’t forget your Peer mentor! These people have walked the walk, so if you have any issues, they are very able and more than willing to help.
There–I’ve addressed the three biggest concerns I have seen on the Facebook group. I really hope this helps. It feels great to be informed, and I hope this list will help you understand all of the opportunities and support available at Keuka. My advice–give it a shot. Why? Keuka is here to help you and make your time here worthwhile.