I remember the first time I visited the University of Rochester. I was a senior in high school visiting several campuses; this one was my first out of state. A lot of things were going through my head. How is the campus going to look like? What programs do they offer? What clubs/organizations do I see myself being a part of? Once I stepped on the campus, I felt like this place was for me. The cold November breeze didn’t affect this Texan, but rather gave me inspiration that no matter the distance, I can succeed wherever I was. Although this was true at the time and still is now, there were a lot of challenges I had to overcome.

My perception of college was that everything was going to be fairly simple such as high school. Of course, there will be harder homework, tests, but just in a bigger environment. I felt that I was prepared for everything and that there were no challenges that I would face. Yet, I was completely wrong. Reality was that I never knew how to study. All throughout high school, I would read over some material yet hardly take more than an hour. High school for me was easy, yet arriving to college took me by surprise. I realized this as soon as I received my first test grade from General Chemistry. I did poorly on the exam and got less than the average. So, there was something I had to do. I sought out help and ran across the Center of Excellence for Teaching and Learning (CETL) where they assisted me in identifying good study habits as well as organizing my schedule. I found this to be a very successful process because they gave me motivation to keep persevering. Aside from this, I wanted to continue having assistance throughout my college career and found out about the David T. Kearns Center. This center is focused on helping first year and underrepresented students while in college by loaning books, free printing, advising, research opportunities and more. The Kearn’s center encouraged me to apply to become a Kearn’s scholar in order to receive all the benefits and so I did. It was the best decision I made and have excelled ever since!

Now with this being said, there were still barriers even with this support. However, that is how college and life is in general. The point of this story is that when you first arrive to college try to find your support system. There will be tough times here and there, but in order to juggle school and work, you have to find someone to advise you from time to time.  You’ll also be surprised with what your school has to offer as well. There are different programs/departments that focus on helping students succeed; you just have to look for them. It may be a workshop, a campus event, a class or anyone that can help you with time management, organization, studying and most of all how to handle your health while in college. My perception of college while in high school was so different then than how it is now. This is my final year in college and I have changed to become a better student and am still growing till this day.