The transition from high school to CCNY can be rough for the freshies! by Saif Choudhury
Maviya Ahmad, a freshman biology major, is looking forward to the pre-med program City College offers. Her schedule is full of courses in science, math, and the humanities –the norm for most freshmen. She has made friends in all of her classes and has made an effort to talk to all of her professors – all within the first week of college. Despite all of this, Ahmad finds the college experience highly disappointing.
“I hate it,” says Ahmad,18. “I keep getting lost, and I always have to carry a map like I’m a tourist… like I really don’t belong. The campus is too big. Things are just so much more complicated now.”
Ahmad belongs to a group of freshmen having a difficult time adjusting to college life. For most of these new students, it’s only been two months since they were high school seniors – with classes all in one building, periods less than 45 minutes long, and schedules that never deviated much from 8 AM to 3 PM.
That high school life has radically changed. Classes occur all over our large campus, the shortest class is one hour and 15 minutes long, and a day can stretch from 8 AM to 9 PM.
“I hate how getting to every class is just a struggle,” says Ahmad. “I hate how I have a six hour break on Mondays and Wednesdays. I hate how I have to come all the way to school just for one class on Tuesdays and Thursdays.”
Not all incoming freshmen share Ahmad’s attitude. Zack Stevens, another freshman at CCNY, could not be more ecstatic about the transition from high school to college.
“They have vending machines here!” says Stevens, age 18, a civil engineering major. “Vending machines, with soda! I never got that in high school! But more seriously, I’m getting one step closer to realizing my career goals.”
Despite the positive attitude, Stevens still admits that things have not been easy: “Yes it’ll be a little tough getting used to my schedule, and it’s been even harder getting used to all of these classes,” he says. “But it’s worth it when I think about the long-run.”
Some professors share Stevens’s attitude. Professor Thomas Barber, who teaches the introductory English composition course at City College, always looks forward to teaching incoming students. “Helping them adjust to college life is always a highlight to my job,” says Barber, who has been teaching at CCNY for four years. “They start out as insecure little freshies who can’t even find the right room, but they end up becoming mature men and women by the end of the semester.”
Although the transition proves difficult, students agree that it will get better. “I know that I’ll get used to everything and make plenty of more friends by the time the semester ends,” says Ahmad. “But until then, I’m scared.”