Angie is back with more Bradley seniors who can’t wait to share their advice, words of wisdom, and general knowledge about college. Transitioning from high school to college is a big change for you (and your family!) so let’s hear how they managed their time, made friends, and dealt with feeling homesick.
Angie: Welcome back to Part 2 of our Passing the Torch conversation with current Bradley seniors! Thank you to everyone for sitting down with me today. Could you share your name, hometown, and major with us?
Danielle P.: I’m Danielle from New Lenox, Illinois and I’m double-majoring in Psychology and Criminology with a minor in Legal Studies.
Derek W.: Hello, my name is Derek. I am from Palatine, Illinois and Accounting is my major with a minor in Business Analytics.
Jessica M.: Hi there! I am Jessica from Moreno Valley, California. My major is Biomedical Science with a concentration in Research and Development and a minor in Neuroscience.
Haley N.: Hi, I’m Haley from Anamosa, Iowa and I’m majoring in Game Design with a User Experience minor.
Angie: There are so many different majors and hometowns (even areas of the country!) represented by the four of you, which is really exciting as we discuss your college experience. Did you receive any valuable advice as you were preparing to transition from high school to college that you would like to share?
Derek W.: I was told to get involved on campus, which is the best advice I have for someone just starting college.
Jessica M.: The advice I received mainly revolved around weather because I was attending college in Illinois and I am from Southern California. So I got advice on winter clothing and how to handle snow and cold. I was also given the advice to not overbook myself with organizations, classes, and work. Did I listen? Surprise, surprise, I did not. I suggest taking the advice that I did not take: don’t overbook yourself. Don’t get me wrong – it is important to get involved, but there is definitely a line between involved and overbooking yourself. College is a time of preparing for the future, but it is also a time of growth and learning about yourself. Make sure to prioritize yourself, which is just as important as homework, if not more so.
Haley N.: One of my friends gave me a really good moving tip, especially for students out of state. She suggested that you take note of about two weeks of laundry and bring those clothes to avoid overpacking.
Angie: All of this is great advice for any college student. Being involved on campus is so important, but you also have to recognize when you might be too involved or overcommitted. Keeping the balance between those things can be difficult and sometimes, you may have to give up an organization or an activity, which is okay to do! We want you to have a positive experience in college and sometimes that means pulling back from certain activities that may interfere with your classes or make you feel overwhelmed.
Angie: Let’s move on to our next topic: feeling homesick. It is a common feeling among college students so let’s talk about what you did to work through those feelings.
Haley N.: Coming from Eastern Iowa, I thought that Illinois wouldn’t be too different from home. It was a stark difference for me, even just common customs and slang. It felt nice to learn more about my friend’s experiences and share mine. It helped me reminisce and feel more connected to home while still being at school.
Danielle P.: Called someone important from home! Just chatting with them made me feel so much better.
Jessica M.: I called my family. Plain and simple. I am an out-of-state student so I tended to feel homesick frequently in the beginning, and even in my senior year, I get homesick a lot. I also brought a lot of family and friend photos to hang on the walls of my room that I look at when I can’t call anyone but I feel homesick.
Angie: There is definitely a common theme in those answers, which is making sure that you keep in touch with your family and friends wherever they might be. Plus, they’re going to love hearing about all the new memories you are making! Let’s talk about making memories while in college. What is your favorite memory from your college experience?
Derek W.: Definitely watching Bradley’s men’s basketball team win Arch Madness in back to back years.
Jessica M.: Planting radishes at midnight in the greenhouse on top of Olin Hall. My lab group and I had just finished a lab report and we were all drinking more coffee and energy drinks than we probably should have been for that late at night. But getting to see the Peoria skyline at night while planting (I love gardening) and giggling with my friends was such a beautiful moment amidst the chaos of midterms.
Haley N.: Going to FUSE was so fulfilling. Getting to see so many people enjoy the games I made is such a wonderful experience. Both years that I’ve been able to attend have been amazing. Getting to walk around and see so many of my classmates share the love of creation made me smile the entire time.
Angie: These are amazing memories so thank you for sharing these. Is there anything else that you’d like to pass on to high school seniors? Advice, stories, recommendations?
Danielle P.: Make connections with your professors! They are amazing people and can help you with your future, like letters of recommendation or your job search. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my favorite professors.
Jessica M.: A lot of people told me it was gonna be difficult and that I should buckle up. It has been challenging, yes, but high school also has its challenges. The challenges in college might come in different forms, but I don’t that they are drastically different than what senior year of high school throws at you. It’s like a video game where your character keeps leveling up as they go so that when they finally tackle those higher level challenges, they are prepared to meet them head on.
Angie: Thank you to our four seniors for helping out with this blog post and for passing the torch with your guidance and advice to our high school seniors. We know that college is a big transition and at Bradley, we have the resources available to support you as you take the next step toward your future.