Adam Speaks Out: What’s It Like To Be A College Student?

Have you, as a high school students, ever wondered what its like to be a college student? Do you want to know outside of what teachers say, what brochures tell you, or a simple tour around campus?

I was in the same position when I was considering college. I didn’t yet know anyone who went to college because I was a first generation college student. So, in order to bring you into the life of a college student, I interviewed Adam Holden a senior at Western Michigan University. 

What is your major and what do you like about it?

My major is interdisciplinary health services.  I like that it is a multifaceted program, with classes not only in the sciences but also in the social sciences, as well as special interest concentrations such as integrative holistic healthcare, addiction studies, and health and informatics.

How did you choose your major and how do you know it’s the right one?

I choose my major because I worked in an adult foster care and I really liked it and then I knew I wanted to do something in health care and this was the broadest healthcare major there was.

What are good ways to stay involved when you are in college?

Good ways to stay involved in school is to get a job that pertains to your major as well as being involved with the RSOs (registered student organizations) on campus.

How do you balance all of your classes, studying, and work?

With a very strict schedule.

Is there anything you wish you knew about college before you went?

I wish I would have researched the different majors and made up my mind my first year of college. It would have been nice to know what I wanted to do before running out of time and feeling pressured to choose a major.

What advice would you give to someone in high school who wants to go to college?

Set your priorities straight before you enter college. Don’t worry about partying, don’t worry about social life, concentrate on your grades and once you have all that in balance, you can schedule free time around that.

How do professors teach differently in college?

[Professors] stand in front of the room and lecture, not nearly as interactive as high school unless you’re in a smaller class, but that doesn’t happen until you’re in higher-level classes. They go on their own pace and you have to keep up with the syllabus and the course work. There isn’t a lot of leeway like in high school.

How is your college workload compared to high school? And what is different about what your teachers expect of you?

[In college] you actually have to do your homework; you have to go to lecture. Teachers don’t just give you a grade like in high school. You have to work for your grade. In high school, teachers expect you to be positive, interactive, and push you to be part of class. In college, however, expect you to just not text in class.

Doing the homework is all on you, following the syllabus, and doing well on exams are all on you. You set your own guidelines. Teacher are there to teach you and only help you if you ask for help, they will not baby you like in high school. They actually treat you like the adult you are.

How was it like living on your own for the first time?

Living on my own for the first time was an awesome experience. I was ready to get out of my mom’s house and to be on my own. I was lucky enough to land great roommates even though I went in blind. I made great friends and it was a great first semester out from underneath the wing of my mother.

What other questions would you like to know about being a college student? If you know someone who goes to college, why not as them as well? As a college student, I love giving advice to high school seniors and their parents and I’m sure other college students feel the same way!

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Hanan is a senior at Western Michigan University majoring in communication studies and minoring in advertising and promotion. On a normal day, Hanan can be found working as an assistant manager at her school's student recreation center, hanging out with friends, writing, or sleeping (which is her favorite activity). When she has free time during the weekends, she loves to stay in and watch Adventure Time (her favorite TV show).