Results tagged “high school” from Hawk Talk - Christian

For those people who saw the words "High School Musical," I just want to tell them that I am not going to blog about that crazy kid / preteen / teen drama mess of a movie that supposedly brought in bizillion dollars and made 5 young adult actors extremely famous.  Sorry, it's not my type of blog post! 

This post is going to be about the transition or shift from a easy going high school life to a more rigorous and meaningful college path.  To me, the high school and the college worlds are two totally different things.  One is a small, yet significant pebble, and the other is a noticeable and majestic boulder.  It's like a huge change on the "grade" (or hill / slant) of a treadmill.  High school is like a 1.0 grade, which is a little bit intense, and college is like a 5.0+ grade, which is very intense.  It's like Babe Ruth Baseball and Major League Baseball... like a 1987 Honda Accord to a 2010 Lamborghini... I think you get the point. 

College is a huge step in your life.  It's a drive towards your goals and dreams.   An education at UMass Lowell will help you become a well-rounded professional and a successful contributer to the present-day world.  This is a new chapter that is waiting to be written, and only you can write your story.  How can you, the potential college student prepare yourself for a life-changing four years? 

1)  Be mentally prepared.

Many students have a very hard time transitioning from a "high school mind" to a "college mind."  Heck, I think all students have a hard time going from a summer fun mode to a buckled down college mode.  Weeks before school starts, students should start looking at what is ahead of them.  Start thinking about the subjects of your classes.  For example, if you are taking a general psychology class, start looking for current day event articles that might relate to that and start thinking about it.  Professors will most likely talk about these events and relate them to the topic of the day.

Start making goals for yourself.  If a person has a set goal in mind or on paper, most likely that person will stay focused to reach that goal.  Being motivated, focused, and driven towards your "summit" is how you succeed in college. 

Overall, stay positive.  Negativity will lessen your drive to your goals, or even put you in the wrong track.  To me, a negative attitude and focus brings negative results.  Even when things get rough, keeping your head in the game will take you further in life.  Keep your goals in your mind with that positive attitude.  Positivity WILL  bring you to your goals and dreams.  That's 100% true.

2)  Get organized.

Let's use my messy room as an example.  There's clothes everywhere.  Papers, books, CDs, and guitar picks are littered everywhere. You can't see the floor.  It takes you hours to find something.  Plus it smells.  That, my friends, is not an organzied room.  If you run your life in an unorganized matter, you must change that.  College is like a jigsaw puzzle.  Professors will give you a small piece of the puzzle and only you can put the picture together.  Staying organized throughout college is key.  Keeping things in a set manner will keep your mind and work ethic clutter-free.  This will help you go from step 1 to step 2, and so on.  In other words, organization keeps you running hard at a fluent pace.  It also keeps you positive and focused.

So don't be like my room.  Get organized!

3)  Game plans are a must.

I've noticed that many students do not have a game plan towards college work.  These students are like football players with no huddle and no play called.  So, instead of driving the team (you) to field goal range (goal), the defense (college) will push you back further and further back to force you to punt the ball away (fail).  If you do not have a game plan, you will be a lost soul. You must plan out your attack on your college work.  It's the only way to keep your mind driven and ogranized.  Plus, doing a paper the night before it is due IS NOT A GAME PLAN.  You will be burned out instantly.  That's one thing you should not do.

So here's the situation:  Each semester will consist of many game plans.  Each assignment needs a plan of attack.  With a game plan established for each assignment, you will be successful in winning the game (passing the class with an awesome grade).  A "win" will be a plus on your "win-lose" record for the season; one semester is a season.  If you continue to go undefeated for the next four years, you will have one helluva career.  Hey, you might be a hall of famer (also known as summa cum laude)... who knows?

So try to create a game plan towards something during the summer, like planning out a camping trip or a day-trip to Boston.  Plan and organize your trip and see how smooth the day will go.


These are some of the important factors a transitional student must have.  If you think about it, all three of those points link together.  In order to be positive, you have to be organize and have a game plan.  If you do not have a plan and be disorganized, you most likely turn your positive attitude to a negative one.  Your dreams and goals will be wiped away if you have a negative attidude. 

So if you are nervous about your first semester at UMass Lowell, think about the three factors that I have mentioned.  Those factors brought me through 4 years and now I'm a successful college graduate.  I hope this helps on your transition from a high school student to a college student.

If you have a question or comment, leave a "comment" on my post!  I will respond!

Good Luck!

- Christian
So first of all, I want to tell you that I have a pretty bad headache right now.  Okay, "pretty bad" is such a weak set of words to describe the AGONY, TORTURE... and the INCONVENIENCE of having this "a carpenter hammering a nail into concrete in my noggin" headache.  So if you see me on campus (for those who are students at UML), give me a hug.  I rarely get headaches and, yes... I'm being a big oversized "senior" baby right now.  

So what does this headache drama got to do with anything about college?

Today, I was thinking about the days that I did not attend class because I was sick with something or had something that took my focus away.  A few weeks ago, a person I know had an "illness" so that person did not go to class.  The thing about that person's absence was the fact that he/she did not contact the professor ahead of time.  So at the end, that person has -2 points riding on his final grade.  Stinks huh?  Two points removed from a final grade doesn't sound bad, but if you are riding between an "A/A-" then you can kiss that "A" goodbye.

In high school, if a student gets sick, his or her parents/guardian/family member/or a friend who is faking to be an "authoritative figure," would call up the school office to tell the secretaries that his son/daughter won't be able to attend his/her classes today.  This message is relayed throughout the school so all his/her teacher's gets a heads up.

Unfortunately, this doesn't work at UML or other colleges.  If you are sick, have problems heading to classes due to a snowstorm, or other stuff, you must email your professors ahead of time - yes that means you have to send individual ones or a mass generalized message.  Alerting the professor before the scheduled absence would save you from losing points or any other consequences that may occur.  Luckily, classes at UML and other colleges do not have classes everyday, unless you are taking a winter/summer class or have some kind of practicum/clinical experience.  So if you (the student) doesn't go to classes, you are still responsible for the work missed.  I can honestly tell you that there are some professors who will give you "leeway" if the illness or event is unbearable - but at the end you are still responsible for the material that you missed. 

I have had certain events that pulled me away from my bird's eye focus in classes, and I can say that the professors I had were very supportive.  For example, during that time period, my professor allowed me to take an exam a different day or told me a paper is due another day.  The professors here do care about your progress throughtout your reign at UML.  They understand that there are some things you can't control (death, illness) and those things do happen.  So I'm happy to say that I did not have any problems that lead to me losing points for a missed day.  You got to thanks emails! 

So the bottom line is that a college student must have a professional relationship with their professor; COMMUNICATION IS A MUST!!!  Trust me, without a strong sense of communication, nothing worthwhile will happen... other than the fact that your grade will drop...

Well, I have to get off this computer... the flashing screen is not helping my headache. 

Remember, if you see me on campus, give me a friendly hug!  (Just kidding!)  I'm probably just going to spread whatever I have if you give me a hug... but try not to think of that if you want to be a caring friend :-).

- Christian

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