First Year of College Experience

Senior year of high school is one of the most important years of a student’s life. Students often spend senior year enjoying every second that is left of high school. More importantly, for those students who are planning to go to college, it is spent preparing for one of the first major decisions in life. That decision is where one should/want to go to college and what to study and focus on while there. The transition from high school to college can be a scary one, but it can also be an exciting one if you know what to expect going into freshman year.

College, with its different aspects, is a very beneficial investment that will help individuals advance in their careers and personal lives.

College is the next step in the education journey following high school, and the years spent in college are very beneficial. There are various reasons a person should go on to college, one reason being the benefits received from it.

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People who go to college and have a degree have many more job opportunities compared to someone who only has a high school diploma. Medical Professionals, Lawyers, Teachers, and Chemists all had to have a college degree in order to peruse that field of work. A person who is hosting a job interview will most likely pick the individual who has a higher education level. They also have a better chance at making a higher salary each year. It is shown that people who go to college can make up to 17,500 more dollars per year than high school graduates (Osborn, 2016).

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In addition, college is an opportunity to focus on one specific job career and get the education needed to pursue that interest. In high school you must take many different classes that focus on a range of subjects. You must take gen eds in college as well, but then you get to focus strictly on a major that is interesting to you and that is not something high school can offer. It is better to find a job that is interesting rather than finding any kind of job that will hire due to the lack of education levels one has. Lastly, going to college can help one realize their goals in life and understand that having a rewarding career is going to require hard work and dedication. The four years of college not only prepares an individual for a future job career, but it helps one prepare for life in general.

High school and college are very different atmospheres when focusing on the professors, workload, schedules, and environment in general. College is a more laid-back environment compared to high school. You do not have a specific time you eat lunch, the professors do not care whether you show up, and you are responsible for remembering when assignments are due. At the beginning of the semester, professors will hand out a syllabus and tell you that your assignments will be posted online. Following that point, professors rarely remind students of when things are due, they just have to keep up with due dates and know. The workload in college is a lot more than high school, but you do not have the same classes every day of the week. College students are given more assignments that are due in shorter amounts of time compared to high school students. Most of the time, classes are spread out throughout the day and there will be time to work on assignments. There are even times when students will only have classes three or four days a week. Time management is very important throughout college years, because it is easy to get behind and difficult to get caught back up.

College can be highly stressful and scary at times throughout the semester, especially towards the end. One fear that I have about college is getting all my assignments done correctly and on time. As the semester progresses, so does the workload placed on students. The last month of the semester is when the most assignments are given out, and the preparation for finals begins. Another fear that I have is getting into the nursing program my Sophomore year. I want to keep my grades up and do well on the TEAS Test so that my chances of getting accepted are higher. My greatest fear is not getting accepted and getting to study and learn about nursing like I want to. College comes with many fears and uncertainties, but it is how one embraces them and overcomes them that is really important.

Freshman Seminar classes are beneficial and help students prepare for the hardships of college and what to expect in your intended major. UVA-Wise luckily offers a Freshman Seminar course for freshman interested in the nursing program. The Freshman Seminar class that I am in has taught me all sorts of college life aspects. The SEM assignments have taught me that there are power in numbers, and sometimes it takes a team to achieve certain goals. The tribal challenges taught me how important teamwork is and relying on one another can help get the job done. It also taught me about time management, studying techniques, and essay formats that are useful in college. Learning about effective time management has taught me how important it is to properly manage my time rather than waiting until the last minute to do everything. Properly managing time in college could be the difference in passing or failing a class; furthermore, grades reflect how much time a student has spent on a certain assignment or how long one studies for a test. There were also studying techniques discussed during the Seminar class. One important technique is to learn things little by little rather than trying to cram material and try to learn all the material the night before a test or quiz. Studying should be something one does every night to prevent last minute stress and late-night study sessions. Studying techniques help students prepare for the assignments in each course and can help improve grades dramatically. Lastly, there are many essay formats that professors will use for writing assignments. Any nursing-based course is most likely going to use APA formatting. I had never written anything in APA formatting prior to Freshman Seminar class, and luckily it was discussed in class what that format should look like. Seminar classes prepare students for what to expect and gives advice on how to make college years less stressful.

The SEM course assignments were given to the students in the class as an opportunity to learn and grow as a student. The assignments helped me with decision making, critical thinking, and lifelong learning skills. In the tribal challenges, the classes were divided and we would go against one another. These mini competitions allowed each team to work together and make different decisions that ultimately lead to winning or losing. This applies to life in general, especially nursing and the medical field. Many times in hospitals the decisions that are made for the patients can lead to whether or not they live or are happy with their time in the hospitals. According to a nursing journal article, nurse practitioners often use clinical decision‐making where diagnostic hypotheses are used to look at their physical conditions (White, Nativio, Kobart, & Engberg, 2016) The challenges also involved critical thinking for each of the students. We had to work together to figure out what techniques work best in order to win and how to improve the difficulties of the challenges. The games and competitions that we had provided a fun challenge but also taught me about decisions and how that is affected by critical thinking.

The class assignments also taught me about lifelong learning skills, specifically in preparing for a career in nursing. Lifelong learning skills are focused on the activities throughout life that are meant to improve one’s knowledge. Nursing is a career that teaches an individual something new each and every day. A person must be open to learning new things daily and allowing it to better them in both the workplace but in life in general. A lifelong learner is someone who will be better at their job because they are constantly learning new ways to improve. In the nursing field, learning is not just about knowing the procedures and how to give shots and IVs. It is more than that; it is about learning about the patients and knowing how to care for them and comfort them in times of need. According to Keith Carlson (2016), it is important to be curious. He says to learn, grow, and be a nursing sponge for experience, knowledge, and skill (Carlson, 2016). Being a lifelong learner is a characteristic that each person should have and care about for the benefits regarding their career.

In conclusion, the transformation from high school to college is a major step in one’s life. College is extremely different from high school, and people react differently to that change. There are many benefits, concerns, and uncertainties when it comes to freshman year and what to expect. Freshman Seminar classes help to prepare one for what to expect and provide beneficial learning experiences that will be remembered in years to come. The Nursing Seminar class uses games, speakers, and assignments to help students learn about important aspects in life. I advise incoming freshman to take a seminar class because it has helped me know what to expect and gave me information about my intended major.


  1. Carlson, K. (2016). Nurses as lifelong learners. Retrieved from American Sentinel University website:
  2. Osborn , P. (2016). Do college grads really earn more than high school grads? Retrieved from Cornerstone University website:
  3. White , J. E., Nativio, D. G., Kobert, S. N., & Engberg, S. J. (1992). Content and process in clinical decision-making by nurse practitioners. Journal of Nursing Scholarship ,

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First Year of College Experience. (2021, Mar 23). Retrieved from

First Year of College Experience

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