College: An Overwhelming First Impression


NJCU campus. Photo by David Wilson.

Jaren Couvertier, Contributing Writer

Starting college is meant to be a life-changing experience that gets you excited for the betterment of yourself and the next four years of education. If that’s the case, then why are so many college freshmen unprepared for what college has to bring?

According to a survey done by, approximately 60 percent of college freshmen felt that high school did not prepare them for what college brings. This is a major issue because so many of those freshmen tend to drop out because of the unexpected stress put on them.

Take it from a college freshman, there is a lot of uncertainty during the first semester, ranging from how your schedule works to learning how to use the new tools given to you such as Blackboard. That stress alone is enough to affect one’s mental health and get some students to drop out before even their sophomore year, according to which found that 30 percent of college freshmen drop out.

The pain point can be traced back to their high school career because it is so different from college not only in structure, but in expectations. The crucial difference between high school and college is in high school you are always watched and reminded of what is needed to be done as well as given a set timeframe for your classes and homework. In college, you’re expected to do this for yourself, and it can be overwhelming for freshmen.

Not everything about college is all doom and gloom; college has a variety of resources that can benefit students in a multitude of ways, ranging from tutoring centers to guide those from low-income areas.

Low-income students may face different challenges than other freshmen. Some students who struggle in all four years of high school may have only moved up because their low-performing high schools are required to meet a graduation rate in order to maintain their budget.

Reporters at have written about cases like this. For example, in one, 1,500 low-performing students were allowed to graduate.

Luckily, there are resources such as the HUB (NJCU’s main tutoring center) or the TRIO Learning Community (TLC) that students can access to gain the help they need and clear up the first-semester confusion that plagues most freshmen.

It’s clear to see that a college freshman has a lot to deal with during their first semester and that overwhelming nature can be traced back to a multitude of factors, but times are changing. More and more students are pushing past that first confusing hurdle and experiencing college the way it should be thanks to the resources provided by the university.

Sure, college can look intimidating at first glance, but that does not mean you should call it quits and walk away. There are a whole lot of different resources that can aid you out in NJCU alone that can help ease the frustration college can bring, all you have to do is go out and accept that help.