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student studying in library, Berkeley College

What to Expect Your First Year of College



student studying in library, Berkeley College


Starting college is a very exciting time. While it can be different for every first-year student, there are some similarities experienced by all. Here’s a look at what your first year at Berkeley College is likely to have in store…

New experiences:

It’s NOT high school!
Whether you’re a recent high school grad or an older student attending college for the first time, the difference between high school and college will be dramatic. Younger students will need to get accustomed to their newfound independence. You’ll make your schedule. You’re responsible for attending classes and completing assignments on time. And your parents won’t get calls from the principal. Working students or those with families will need to manage their time to fit their studies in with their other responsibilities. The first year of college will be an adjustment for students. Fortunately, Berkeley College offers many support resources and services to help make that transition a smooth one.

New friends
Your first year of college is a great way to expand your circle of friends. You don’t need to give up your old friends, but you’re likely to meet classmates with whom you share interests—both in and out of class. Some students form study groups while others network with others to make professional connections. The Berkeley student body is extremely diverse—which offers you the chance to get to know people of many different backgrounds and cultures. Either way, many friendships formed in college last a lifetime!

New activities
Extracurricular activities are an excellent way to complement your studies. Clubs, athletics, and other organized activities are great for meeting people, having fun, and enhancing your leadership skills. Participation can also look great on your resume.

Time flexibility
Do you study best early in the morning? Or are you a late-nighter? Do you set aside large blocks of time for homework? Or prefer multiple short segments? Now you can make all of these decisions to balance school and your social life. Many students take at least some online courses, which offer even greater flexibility.

The challenges:

A changing environment
The familiarity of the people, places, and routines of high school will be gone, so this exciting time can also be stressful. Don’t be afraid to reach out to those around you—your family, friends, professors, and classmates—for help. And always remember that Berkeley offers many resources to help you—including tutoring, confidential counseling, and much more.

That newly found independence
Along with the freedom of college comes greater responsibility. It’s much easier to fall behind in your studies when your parents and teachers aren’t watching every move you make. But skipping classes or missing assignments only hurts YOU. It’s important to take college seriously and to seek help early when issues arise. Your future is at stake.

Social pressure is real
Social pressure in college may be different from what you may have experienced in high school. If you feel any sort of pressure to “fit in” or behave in any way in which you’re not comfortable, get help immediately. Berkeley offers counselors, advisors, and other support staff to help you with problems you’re facing in or out of the classroom. All you have to do is ask.

A Berkeley College education is much more than simply taking classes. We’re here to help in every way possible. Familiarize yourself with the many resources and services that are available to you and don’t be afraid to use them! Get to know the Student Development and Campus Life office. They can help with many challenges you may face—especially in your first year of college. Our goal is to help you succeed professionally and personally.