I don’t know about you but when I transitioned from high school to college I was not ready. Funny thing is when I talked to my dad about it he also indicated that his experience was the same. Both of us bombed out of courses that first semester and had to recover. However he was quicker than me as he went on to get his degree in a few years and I took…20! I was a retention/persistence nightmare student. I never saw an advisor, declared all sorts of majors, went to several colleges, and took a WIDE variety of courses. Now I advise new first year students, Waahahaha!
I am sure it is easy to see why I can identify with the new student. When a student walks onto our campus for the first time it is at that very moment life changes drastically. So much is coming at them that even something as common as setting a password becomes foreign. We expect them to instantly understand, even know, common used words, processes, and requirements. I don’t know about you but I only know what I LEARN and I learn faster if someone takes the time to teach me. FYI, letting a student struggle to figure all this out is NOT student empowerment, that’s just laziness on our part. Going the extra mile will help our students go further down their educational path.
Each time we engage a student we have the opportunity to share in a learning experience. It is in these sorts of engagements that we can create change in our students’ lives, change in our campus, and change in our community. We need to understand that change takes time and it is our job to be patient. Each of us have the POWER to stimulate change in those we encounter by simply taking the time to share our knowledge.
I think Spiderman says it best…