Transitioning to college can be a tricky time in life for students. There is so much unknown. How hard will my classes be? What do I do if I don’t like my roommate? What kind of extracurricular activities are available?
This is the first part of a three part interview with two college students, Janelle Scala and Ian Fuller. Both are juniors at their respective schools, Janelle at the University of Virginia and Ian at James Madison University. They have agreed to offer some insight and answer some questions regarding their transitional experience from high school to college. There are two more interviews to go. If there is a question you would like them to answer, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1) Give us a little bit of information about yourself. Where do you go to college? What made you choose that school? What year are you? What is your major?
I am currently a sophomore at James Madison University. I chose JMU because a lot of people in my family have attended school there. In addition, as a Marketing major, JMU’s nationally recognized College of Business appealed to me.
2) What made you decide to choose that major?
I chose marketing because I’m very interested in logistics. There are several areas of marketing that focus on strategizing and planning, and these are the areas I would ideally like to work in after graduation.
3) What has been your favorite class you’ve taken so far and why? What has been the most
difficult class you’ve taken so far and why?
My favorite class so far has been Introduction to Management Science. The focus of the class was centered on basic decisions that managers might face in various situations. It was very practical and stimulating which is the main reason I enjoyed it. I’ve taken a few classes where professors will teach a concept and fail to explain how it applies to real world situations, which can make class a little less interesting. The most difficult class I’ve taken so far was Music in General Culture. I’m more of a left-brained person, so I had to work a lot harder to understand concepts that some of my classmates grasped much faster.
On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I only have two 50 minute classes in the morning. Tuesdays and Thursdays I have two 75 minute classes in the morning, and another 75 minute class in the evening. I have most afternoons free, which is nice because it gives me the time to hang out, go to the gym, or get school work done.
5) Sometimes students can have a long break between classes. I remember being in college one semester where I had a five hour break between classes. What’s the longest break between classes for you and how do you spend that time?
I have about a 6 hour gap between my second and third class on Tuesday and Thursday. I usually spend that time doing school work or hanging out with friends. Long gaps between classes aren’t necessarily a bad thing, because it usually gives me time to get things done. Short gaps, maybe 1 or 2 hours, can be annoying though because it’s usually not enough time to sit down and focus, but it’s also too much time
6) On average, how much time would you say that you spend on work outside of class per class?
On average, I spend about 1-2 hours on a class per week. I’ve had weeks where I’ve spent 10-15 hours on a class, and I’ve also had weeks where I’ve spent no time on a class. It really just depended on my professors, whether I understood the material that was being taught, or if I had any major assignments due for a class.
7) Remember back to your freshman year and your initial month of being in college. What would you say was the most difficult part of transitioning from living under a roof with your parents to going to college?
The most difficult part of this transition is finding time to be productive, whether it’s something like school assignments, or something like doing your laundry. At home, you don’t see your friends as frequently, so it’s easier to focus on the tasks you need to accomplish. In college (at least your freshman year), you’ll be living in the same hall as a lot of people your age, so there’s usually things going on. It can sometimes be hard to stay on top of your responsibilities.