Sunday, July 5, 2009

Adjusting to a College Life

Having the opportunity to attend Columbia University for the summer has definitely opened my eyes in terms of the responsibility one must have to be able to succeed. Here we don't have our parents to wake us up when it is time to go to class, they are not here to tell us whats good or bad for us, they are not here to make decisions for us and they aren't certainly here to do our laundry.

Although I already know how to do my laundry I still have to know how to manage my time to fit in studies and other things that need to be done. I need to make sure I have enough time to eat, study, and get important errands done to be able to sleep early to get a good night's sleep to wake in enough time to get to class. Time has to be managed correctly in order to get the best out of it and not just waste time fooling around. For example, I have to manage my time to get to class on time, eat lunch, go back to class, eat dinner, meet with my Joy or Zack, my chemistry tutors, and have enough time to do the rest of my homework.

I personally haven't had any problem with having to take care of myself since I have been doing it for my whole teenage life. I know how to cook, do laundry, and manage my time responsibly. However, it is fine if most students don't know how to take care of themselves because people in college are more than happy to help each other through the transition of leaving home. No matter what what the student's situation is I am sure they are going to figure thing out either alone or with the help of friends and classmates who are also new to the experience.


Don Gosney said...


Please don’t take this as a personal reflection against you but I’m amazed that bright and motivated students like we have in the ILC, before this summer, still needed someone to make sure they woke up and went to school, made sure that their laundry got done, continued to tell them the difference between right and wrong, made them do their homework, and so on and so on…

I’m reading day after day about our ILC cohorts oversleeping, missing ferries, missing meetings with Deans, having trouble getting fed and waiting until the last minute to get assignments completed.

One of the big differences between this year’s ILC kids and last year’s is that I’m not reading every day about learning how to do laundry. Either you’re all running around in dirty clothes, you’ve mastered the whole laundry thing or you’re too embarrassed to write about it.

You’re absolutely right, though, about how when you’re put into positions of responsibility like you all have this summer, you’re expected to be able to take responsibility for making things happen on your own. It’s not going to be very long before you’ll be facing a situation where you’ll not only be required to take care of yourself but probably others as well. This is what they call a baptism by fire.

Madeline Kronenberg said...


I'm glad you wrote about college life -- it is different than being at home. For students like you, who come from big families, I think it is easier. They have not been the "center of attention" and often have had to take responsibility for others for much of their lives.

You zeroed right in on the "time management" aspect and I believe that is really the most important skillset you can develop. It means prioritizing WHAT you do -- and setting your own timelines for doing it.

I am also impressed that you realized about families. "Families" take care of each other and so do "college families" -- just as you described "helping each other through the transition" is what it is all about.

You are clearly learning a great deal -- about many things -- thanks for sharing.

Charles Tillman Ramsey said...

Thanks Sofia for your insightful comments. I am glad that you have found a way to bond with the other students. However, I would value hearing how you felt about the time that you had at Vassar. What were your impressions? Did it make you feel that you want to attend College in a rural or urban area? Do you like the small college feel or do you like the big city?

Let us know.

Charles T. Ramsey, Esq.
School Board Member
West Contra Costa
Unified School District

CC said...

Dear Sofia,
For someone who has never been so far from home before you are doing incredibly well, but I never doubted you for a second. I would also like to hear your thoughts on your classes, what you've learned in them, and what the academic experience has been like at Columbia for you.
I cannot even begin to explain how proud I am of you and your courage, organization and maturity(and housekeeping skills which sound better than mine!)
I'm looking forward to reading more about your adventures this summer and into the future.

Your Counselor,
Ms. Alaniz

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