This month’s Upward Bound graduate update comes from Tia Matthews who graduated from Central High School in 2011. She now attends Hamline University, in St. Paul. I recently contacted Tia about her experiences during her first semester at college. Here is what I found out:
During Tia’s first semester at Hamline, she took several classes including Ethics, Criminology, General Psychology (online) and Racial & Cultural Minorities. Besides being very busy with a full class load, Tia was and continues to be involved with a student organization called the PRIDE Black Student Alliance (PRIDE BSA).
Like many other students, Tia was a little worried at first about meeting new people and having a roommate, but things have worked out well so far. She has made many new friendships with other Hamline students and those friends have become a great support system when it comes to classes and homework. When Tia is not hanging out with friends or working on homework, she enjoys her free time. College life has definitely given Tia more flexibility with her schedule. She uses her free time to plan her daily schedule. Tia has tried to be more organized and uses good time management skills in order to keep balanced. A typical day for her starts with class at 8 or 9am and then goes until about 3pm. She tutors at Hancock Elementary School and then hangs out with friends, does homework, watches movies or participates at events on campus. Overall, Tia is really enjoying a busy college life!
Tia reflected on the main differences she sees between college and high school. She said that her first semester was hard for her because sometimes she procrastinated when it came to her homework and she didn’t talk to her professors as much when she had questions or concerns about class. However, she has learned from these mistakes and said that she realizes that she cannot wait until the last minute to do homework assignments or write papers because professors do not accept late work. I’d like to remind Tia and everyone else that professors are there to answer student questions, so it is always a good idea to ask for clarification.
Tia had 6 pieces of advice for current UB students when going off to college. Here they are:
Always have a back up school when applying to college!
Homework and organization always should come first.
Try to get a work-study job on or near your college campus.
Maintain a support system to help you through tough times.
Build relationships with the professors and upperclassmen.
Have fun and be safe!