Rocket alumni offer college survival tactics to graduating seniors

As the end of the 2016 school year comes to a close, a lot of mixed emotions are beginning to surface as seniors face many “lasts” of their high school career. The last school dance, the last home sporting event, the last everything as a high school student. Although we have all heard it, college is not like high school. This transition can make students feel uneasy, and oftentimes nervous because of the uncertainty of what college really will be like. To put seniors at ease, rocket alumni have offered their tips and tricks for surviving their freshmen year of college.

Grant Tore, a 2014 McNick graduate, is currently a sophomore at the University of South Carolina. “Get involved,” he said. He added that although it easy to join a lot of clubs, it’s not necessary to overextend yourself. Joining a few clubs and getting associated with them well is the key to meeting people and getting a feel for the university you attend.

Along with involvement, Tore highly recommended staying organized. “Use a calendar to keep track of your schedule because you will have so much free time and need to manage it well. “Personally I prefer Google Calendar, and I get notifications for almost everything straight to my phone,” Tore said.

Time management can really stump incoming college students. The transition from spending approximately 7 hours a day in high school to spending nearly 15 hours a week in college can be a drastic change. Kayla Abbitt, a 2015 McNick graduate, is currently a freshmen attending Ohio University. She emphasized the important of time prioritization.

“Try to make a routine and stick with it so you don’t get lost in all the free time you have. Once you figured out the most efficient study patterns for you, things being to fall into place,” Abbitt said.

For those students going to colleges out of state, staying in touch can be difficult. Paige Jones, a 2015 McNick graduate, attends the University of South Alabama and accentuated on keeping close with your friends and family. Being homesick can be a common thing whether you’re 30 minutes from home or 12 hours from home.

“It’s very easy to get caught up and only think about the present and the memories you’re making, but don’t forget about the people who made the past four years, the people who stuck by you. Don’t let college ruin that,” Jones said.

Jones went on to say “you’ll miss your dog and you’ll miss your much more comfortable bed back at home, but don’t let it consume you,”

Lastly, graduates recommended going into college with an open mind because not everything is as expected. Molly Kidwell, a 2015 graduate, is currently a freshmen at Xavier University and has faced a lot of obstacles while embarking on her first year as a college student.

“Get ready to re-learn how to handwrite everything, and I do mean everything. Most of my teachers won’t even allow me to have a laptop on my desk!” Kidwell said.

Along with new experiences comes new opinions and new decisions. Changing majors is popular during your freshmen year of college because you’re constantly learning of new opportunities that interest you.

“Don’t stress over your major- you don’t have to know what you want to do right away- you have time to figure everything out and it’s okay to change it! College is time for finding yourself and what you want to do,” Kidwell said.


As the 2016 senior year comes to an end, the senior class poses strongly together as one as they plan to continue their college journey this upcoming fall.

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