Welcome to the college life

Mark Francis

Ah, another school year begins here at LMC. Everyone who’s anyone is probably busy adding, dropping or being wait-listed into classes; which is a “normal” late-August here at LMC.

So to the returning students I say, “welcome back!” And to the new students fresh from high school graduation I say, “Prepare yourself.”

Why is that, you ask?

College to any incoming “newbie” freshmen straight out of high school life could, can, and will most likely be a scary time of change. Between trying to find all your classes on the first week to figuring out a way to cram all your social life demands into an increasingly hectic college schedule, sacrifices must be made.

Did I scare off any freshmen reading this paper? Probably, but it is the truth that adjusting to college life can be a disjointing experience. If you’re already a seasoned veteran of the college life, then you can probably skip this column and read the other column on this page or even our new Editor in Chief’s thoughts for the upcoming semester. As a seasoned veteran, you probably know what I’m going to get into in the following paragraphs.

For you new students coming directly from high school into LMC, the first thing you may notice is the fact that you’re not taking classes back to back to back, like a typical high school day. Instead your classes are scattered about the campus and set up for different days of the week. Depending on what you picked, you may have one hour classes but for three days out of the week. Or a massive three hour class only once a week.

Now, if you loved learning a lot back in high school, you may love those three hour classes; but if you’ve never been a fan of that, maybe a one hour class is more up your alley.

Secondly, the status quo that you held back to dearly in high school has become obsolete. Regardless whether you were the popular student, the nerdy student, or even the “in-betweener” of it all, it doesn’t matter. The status quo is reset, and honestly no one cares in college.

What we care more about is student budgets, student life, clubs, and basically surviving each semester. We don’t have time for high school drama on campus, save that for your days off. In college, most of you will have to reinvent yourselves, from the way you study, do class work, present yourselves, to how you regard the world and your place in it.

Now comes the third point I was building up to. LMC, many other community colleges, and even big universities are radically different from high school. There are no exact cliques to be a part of. It’s not a group thing anymore, instead it’s a focus on the individual. So in short, don’t be afraid to express yourself artistically, socially, politically or intellectually.

Here at LMC, you have free-reign on how you want to shape your future, so it’s okay if your first semester here at LMC doesn’t go according to plan and you don’t know what your major is. You’re going to rebuild yourself into something that you can see being successful in the long term. I honestly didn’t know that I wanted to pursue Journalism until after my first semester had gone by!

In the mean time, however, test the waters here at LMC. Become more aware of what’s going on in the community and on campus. Don’t be afraid of reaching out to do something new and unique. Enlighten yourself on new subjects and ideas. Don’t keep treating this as an extension of high school life, because if that’s the case then you won’t be be going anywhere in life.