My name is Carissa and I am a freshman who is majoring in English at Frostburg State University. I feel that, with as many opportunities as I have been given, college will be one of the greatest moments of my life. Throughout some of middle school and all of high school I was a part of the Gear-Up program. Gear-Up was set up to prepare students for college and influence them to do better in school. Being a part of the program really helped me in becoming the student I am today. I’m currently a part of the honors program at FSU and graduated from my high school with an honors certificate.
Adjusting to the college schedule was an easy task; it seems to be less of a hassle to go along with, not to mention only having certain classes two or three days of the week. My classes don’t seem to be too difficult to handle just yet, though that may be because they’re the required credits and it’s just my first semester here at the school. However, even this early into the semester I still dread the thought of final exams; but it’s nice to look at the calender and see that there’s a good bit of time before they arrive.
According to statistics only 56% of students who enroll at a four-year college earn a bachelor’s degree. The percentage of college freshmen who drop out at the end of their first semester shocks me; approximately 35% of students who enter college will drop out within their first year. The number is quite high and I was enlightened by my high school guidance counselor last year as to why they did. Not many understand the importance of studying and end up partying their tuition away, which results in them dropping out before they fail. There are many other reasons, including balancing work and school, but I feel that underestimating their time to study is the most common among freshmen. One in four college freshmen drop out, but the real question is how can we stop this?
I know that with my honors certificate under my belt I will be able to handle anything college throws at me. In order to succeed, I’ve decided to not put too much pressure on myself the first semester. I only have the required amount of credits to be a full-time student and in my free time I do work study. Once I get past this semester I’ll know that I can handle the next and so on. It’s all about having the right motivation and keeping a positive attitude.
"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will." -Vincent T. Lombardi