Currently we are three weeks into school; there are no more orientation events for first-years to attend, everyone has started to find their routine, and most people have become very of aware of the fact that the college work load is significantly more challenging than in high school.  At least for me, highs school was by no means a breeze, but there were definitely times where I felt I wasn’t being held to a high enough standard.  I felt I could get an A on an essay with some “flowery language” (as a fellow classmate of mine described it), and be a little light on the content side of things.  Once I got to Whitman that changed pretty fast.  My first writing assignment here, I tackled it as I would any high school assignment and promptly was given a 3/10.  While shocking, this was a nice wakeup call that classes wouldn’t be breeze and that if I wanted to succeed I was going to have to work for it. 

Even though the transition from high school to college is different for everyone, for most, the work load is going to be more challenging and move at a quicker pace.  Being in a new environment full of new people with a heavy work load can definitely be recipe for exorbitant amounts of stress, but what I found out quickly was that there are innumerable resources at one’s disposal to reach success in his or her academic endeavors.  From my experience, my writing is what needed the most work, and while my professor gave me a 3 on my first writing assignment it was not without an encouraging attitude and reassurance that she was always willing to meet to help me out.  Outside of the classroom I talked with my SA (student academic advisor) about where I could get extra help on my papers and he offered to look over papers that I wanted help with, and also pointed me to the writing center where I could get yet another set of eyes to look over my writing. 

So, while I definitely was aware that the work load had increased and that the academic standard was raised, I felt prepared and well equipped to tackle it.  I knew that I was in a community of students and faculty that wanted me to succeed and would help me out if I needed it.  Never have I felt so supported by a community of people academically as well as socially.  Three years later I have made great strides and have enjoyed every minute of my work ridden schedule.


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