Many teenagers count down to their senior year of high school. With prom and graduation, it is a fun time. Come fall, the class of 2021 will be headed off to their freshman year of college.
Many students can feel apprehensive about this change. They have to learn independence very quickly. Some will be moving to a college nearby; some to colleges in a different state. The JN touched base with five “experts” who just finished their freshmen year about how to handle the transition from high school to
Jordan Wohl, Danvers HiGh School, Danvers, MA., University of Michigan-Dearborn
Major: Political science
“It is OK to send your child to Dearborn! ”
- College freshmen should never be discouraged by a bad exam score or a bad day in college.
- The key to being successful as a college student and as a mature adult is turning mistakes into learning experiences and opportunities to improve.
- The Jewish impact is very important; get involved and meet people with similar beliefs and experiences.
- I’ve impacted the Jewish community at UM-Dearborn by being involved, being a successful student and attending many Hillel events.
- I want to show other parents that sending their Jewish child to Dearborn can be a positive experience, and I want them to feel comfortable that their kids can have the same successful experiences.
Jacob Kornblum, Farber Hebrew Day School, Binghamton University
Major: Business administration
“I recommend getting involved at your school’s Hillel.”
- I recommend taking less than the maximum allowed credits; it can be a struggle to adjust to college life.
- Use your residential advisers as a resource; they are usually among the first friends you meet.
- With roommates, set boundaries, such as when you like to go to sleep and how much privacy you require; think of it as a mutual relationship where you must compromise sometimes.
- I recommend checking out all the dining halls at your college or university because there are a lot more options than just the dorm you live in.
- I recommend studying with someone who is studious because it helps you stay motivated.
- Hillel at Binghamton ran an interfaith Shabbat dinner for Muslims and Jews. It also hosts an annual trip to a local mosque for Muslim and Jewish students. We really have more in common with Muslims than we know and, thankfully, the Jews and Muslims here at Binghamton have a good relationship. I recommend getting involved at your school’s Hillel.
Gloria Steinberg, North Farmington High School, Michigan State University
“Don’t get your hopes too high; you are attending college for an education.”
- The mindset of party, party, party can lead to a disastrous GPA.
- Eat the cafeteria food. There’s no need to spend more money on food.
- Do and start the assignment the day it is given.
- If the assignment is a big one, have it checked by the professor in their office hours; it will ensure a good grade and show the professor that you’re a hard worker, which is a great place to be in a large-sized class.
- Don’t expect too much from your roommate, who is in the same boat as you. It’s helpful to be on good terms, but if you expect going in that you’ll end up being best friends, it’s usually a disappointment.
Isaac Weiss, HOME SCHOOLED, Wayne State University
Major: Music education
“Time management is the single most important skill you can develop or the deficiency most likely to destroy you.”
- At the beginning of the semester, go through your syllabi and put into your calendar every date that assignments are due or exams take place. Then use this to get started on every project with time to spare.
- Live on campus if you can! Everything is much more convenient, and you also have the opportunity to meet many new friends.
- Work before play! But play is also important. Bring a couple of decks of cards and seek out people to play with.
- If you’re going to Wayne State, eat at Gold ’n’ Greens — a supervised kosher, vegetarian, healthy and really delicious cafeteria/restaurant. Get sautéed onions and peppers in your eggs in the morning — Norm does them really well.
- College isn’t mandatory. If you’re doing it, you’re doing it because you’ve decided to. So enjoy it, keep a positive attitude and you will have many positive experiences in your freshman year.
Alexis Spector, Frankel Jewish Academy, Michigan State-James Madison College
Major: International relations
“Greek Life is essential and well worth it.”
- It’s a heavy workload, so make sure to make your way to your professors’ office hours, mostly around exam time.
- Go to the library or group study session to make sure you are ready for your tests.
- Your social life depends on being involved with Greek life. These girls/guys will make you go out and help you realize that college isn’t just about grades. They will encourage you to do well in school, but remind you to take your head out of the books every so often.
- James Madison is supposed to be hard! No one survived it because it was easy!
Jared Katz Special to the Jewish News