Transitions: High School to College

The transition from high school to college is one of the biggest transitions in our young adult life. It is the time when we escape our roots and move to a new place to discover a new version of our self.

You think you have it all figured out in high school; you are well liked, great at your sport, in theatre, or band, and you think you know what you want to do with the rest of your life. But then you go into your freshman year of college and everything changes, and continues to do so throughout your four years.

College- especially freshman year is filled with choices and transitions you have to make in order to grow into the person you will become when you graduate.


In high school you think the friends you have will be your friends forever, and maybe they will be, but you will be surprised at how quickly bonds will form with people you’ve known for only a month. You will bond over mutual interests such as living on the same dorm floor, joining the same sorority, fraternity, and clubs. These social groups are especially important to join if you only know your randomly assigned roommate at your school. It will be awkward to knock on your neighbors door, introduce yourself to the person you sit next to in class, and walk into a welcome meeting for a club by yourself, but that’s the only way you will make friends, and college will be miserable if you don’t. The friendships that you make in college you will have for a lifetime.


It is a Sunday night and you are studying for your quiz you have at 9:00am the next morning, but your friends on your hall knock on your door and invite you to drink with them in their room. You know you should say no and continue studying because you have a B+ in your class on Monday morning, and if you get an A on the quiz it will boost your final grade. But you succumb to peer pressure and say yes anyway. You wake up late the next morning and your professor doesn’t let you take the quiz so you get a zero. Managing your studies and your social life is one of the hardest transitions of freshman year. It is so exciting to have the majority of your friends live on your floor or in your building; it is like one giant sleepover every night. But it is important to remember why you are in college, yes to build friendships, but also to graduate with a college degree and know that you did your best. In situations like this, listen to your gut instinct and do what is best for your conscience and grade.


It would not be a true college experience without making some mistakes, and that is okay, because that is how you learn and grow. College is filled with choices that you have to make; which classes to take, which dorm to live in, which clubs or Greek life organization to join, and more. Sometimes you are peer pressured into the wrong choice or make the wrong choice on your own. Whatever happens, acknowledge that what you did was wrong, learn from it, and try not to make that mistake again.

You think freshman year will be the easiest year of college, but in my experience it is the hardest. Freshman year is awkward, intimidating, and confusing, but still the time of your life. Remember that no one’s freshman year is easy, and try to make the most of the crazy and fun life that is college.

For more help and advice with the transition from high school to college check out Harvest Time Partner’s Face to Face conversation games.

Harvest Time Partners thanks contributing writer Emily Garber for her insights on life’s transitions.