By Andrew Crandall
Did you know 30% of college freshman drop out after their first year, according to https://www.collegeatlas.org/college-dropout.html? Why would so many young students with a bright future drop out so often? I will tell you why. Priorities, time management, and a lack of balance. We attend high school 8 hours a day for the most part. That is a lot. We get used to being overloaded with school and classes, and so when we are given more freedom it is a hard thing to harness and control. On average, a college dropout earns 35% or $21,000 less each year according to https://www.collegeatlas.org/college-dropout.html. I don’t want to earn less money, what about you? Why would people not be able to stick out the tough years for the big bucks? See, your first year sets the tone and pace for your college career. Let us talk about a few key things you can do to set yourself up for success, or pull yourself out of a mess.
I suggest first time students to take three classes exactly. That way you have free time for working and socializing, but you are still making a valiant effort in classes to keep you on track. The second thing I would suggest is DO NOT OVERTHINK YOUR MAJOR RIGHT AWAY. No one immediately knows for sure what they want to do even if they have a good idea. I am a 25-year-old student who just decided on my major before finishing my basic courses, which is FINE. You need to understand though that your first semester is important because it creates your GPA. It took 2 years to recover from my first semester and you do not want to repeat what I did. I literally had to pull my grades up from a .2 to a 2.8 just to become eligible for financial aid again. Oh, and how did I pull my grades up? By paying out of pocket for six classes. Thousands of dollars I should have never had to spend because I was too stubborn and a know it all my first year. You CAN recover, but why recover over succeed?
Lastly, let us say you are in an academic rut. This helpful article was published too late and now you are in a crisis with your GPA. You need to learn about time management and priorities. So maybe going to the bar or out with friends is not so important because you have a test the next day. One of the biggest problems I personally had was learning to work at least 25 hours a week and maintain good grades. See, your job at Good Burger is not as important as your college degree. You do not want to lose your job at Good Burger but should it come down to it you need to make the right call. You need to create a work schedule and a school schedule that is harmonizes like an orchestra.
In all you need to respect your time, your teachers time, and your job’s time as well.
Some students do not have a job but most college students have somewhere they work now a day. Students without a job just need to be cautious about a social life consuming them, but other than that, you should be fine. Remember, college can change your life. You can change your life for the worst with bad grades and debt, or a good job and paid off debt boosting your credit score. Life is what you make it and the same goes for college. It all boils down to your priorities, time management, and overall balance.
Photo credit: https://elearninginfographics.com
Photo credit: collegeparents.org
By Hannah Combs
My name is Hannah Combs, and I’m a Freshman. There is nothing too unusual about that. What makes me unique is that I’m a non-speaker. I communicate by spelling out each word, one letter at a time, on a laminated letterboard. I am very proud to be the first-ever student at JSCC to use this method as a primary means of communication. Most people have never known anyone who uses this communication method, so let me explain the challenges.
First, I need to have a board with me at all times. No matter what I may be thinking, without a board, I’m not able to communicate anything. That can be pretty inconvenient. Imagine yourself on a rollercoaster with a letterboard, or even worse, on a date! “Excuse me while I whip out my letterboard before we kiss.” Awkward!
Also, I need a communication partner to hold the letterboard in my work field, which, for me, is vertical. Now imagine that date with my aide holding up my letterboard so I can reach it to spell. Did I mention that I’m single? Go figure.
There’s one more thing. Not everyone can be trained as a communication partner. It takes a special set of skills, and not everyone can do it. So, what if I find someone who melts my ice cubes, and he doesn’t mind communication by letterboard, but he can’t learn to hold my communication device? I don’t think I like my odds in an argument.
One day there will be more students communicating with letterboards like myself. Until then, you are welcome to ask me questions about it, and if you see me around campus, stop and say hello. I look forward to making a lot of speaking friends at JSCC.