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Upcoming TJC graduates provide advice for current, future students

By Colton Hollis

Multimedia Journalist

With the school year winding down and summer break right around the corner, sophomores at Tyler Junior College are planning the move to a four-year university. With how rocky the transition from high school to college can be, three graduating TJC students would like to impart wisdom on future freshmen and returning sophomores.

Advice for incoming freshmen

○ Find a friend group or join an organization ○

One thing that can ease the transition from high school to college is to find a group or organization you get along with. This is something echoed by TJC graduates Tanner Smith and Myia Davis.

“It can be extremely nerve-racking coming into a new place with a completely different group of people from what you’re used to seeing every day,” Smith said. “Find that group of people that you can relax and be yourself with. It’ll make college life a lot more fun.”

Once you are attending classes, don’t be afraid to talk with your classmates about what they do around campus, maybe one of them will be with a club or organization that piques your interest. 

“Being involved on campus is one of the best decisions I ever made, and I wish I would’ve done it earlier,” Davis said. No matter what you are interested in, there will probably be a TJC organization related to it. If you like theatre, there is Las Mascaras. For people interested in game design or just playing video games with friends, there’s the International Game Developers Association.  TJC also has several religious-based organizations such as the Baptist Student Ministry, Overflow and the Baha’i Club. 

One way to learn more about organizations is to attend Student Senate meetings, as many organizations announce events they will be holding. 

○ Figure out a balanced schedule ○

 The prospect of being in a new city and surrounded by new people can be a bit distracting for new freshmen, but it is important to keep a balance between classwork, studying and taking time for yourself. 

“A majority of the professors make attendance a grade. If you miss class a lot without a reasonable excuse than your average is pretty much screwed and you’ll probably have to take the class again,” Smith said. 

Simone Griffith, graduating resident assistant,  expressed the need for balance in college life.

“The advice I would give to a freshman would be knowing yourself and your limits. Being in college, you will be independent and free to do anything you want. You can skip class, go to parties, even have an off day and no one will care,” Griffith said. “However, I will tell them to not take this for granted. Know your limits to certain things like parties and stay focused on your degree.”

○ Be the best version of yourself and find time to focus on you ○

The change in workload from high school to college is something some students need to adjust for. This can be a burden on one’s mental health. 

“Don’t get stressed out, which sounds easy to say, but it’s true. Putting yourself and your mental health first is so important,” Davis said. 

It is also important to remember you shouldn’t worry too much about what others think of you, instead focus on getting through college and bettering yourself for the future. 

“I wished I learned that when you’re in college, no one really cares. What I mean by that is no one cares if you’re the best dressed or was the popular one at your high school. It starts all over when you’re in college,” Griffith said. “You shouldn’t worry what anyone thinks about you because everyone there is just trying to gain their degree. None of that matters in college to be honest. This is not a fashion show or a social contest.” 

Advice for returning sophomores

○ Don’t get distracted ○

Burnout can be a serious issue for students with the feelings of procrastination creeping in. That is why it’s important for returning sophomores to stay focused on the end goal of graduation. 

“If it’s your last semester then keep up with your work. It can be very easy to procrastinate and take things a little too easy,” Smith said. “Stay on top of everything and push until graduation day.”

○ Don’t be afraid to hit the reset button ○

Junior college is a time for experimentation and finding yourself, and sometimes that means learning the career you chose in high school isn’t what you want to be doing for the rest of your life or the major you chose just doesn’t match up with your interests.

“Do not feel like you’re a failure or behind in any way if you change your major. Those feelings hit me hard each time I changed mine, but I realized that everyone moves at their own pace and that I am not the same as anyone else,” Davis said. 

A reset doesn’t have to involve your major or future career either. Students can find themselves falling behind in their studies while still wanting to follow through with their original major. That’s when they need to just take a step back and look at what are the best changes to make to their habits. 

“If your grades were high, while still balancing school, work or even social life, keep doing what you’re doing,” Griffith said. “If you are struggling to balance your social life and school, change your mindset and focus on your grades.”

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