Students adjust to new academic year

Alyssa Newman

New classes. New friends. New school year. For the last two weeks, Kent State students have encountered many adjustments.

Whether it’s living in a different place, having a new job or managing money for the first time, Sharon Sciartelli, a psychology professor, said the transitioning process varies individually.

“Coming to college and being on your own is a big change for some students and it’s not so big of a change for others,” she said.

For Andrew Halasah, a freshman pre-finance major, adapting from high school to college has been better than he expected.

“For me, (adjusting) was a little bit easier because I had a lot of freedom when I was living with my parents,” he said. “I’m used to being able to manage my time.”

Although Sciartelli said she believes time management is a big adaption for students, the transitioning process depends on how well they have practiced adjusting in the past.

“If (living on your own) is the first big thing that has happened in your life,” Sciartelli said, “that’s going to be harder than if you sort of grew up in a way that your parents slowly gave you more and more responsibilities.”

Dana Williams, a freshman pre-nursing major, is using her adjustment time to change old habits.

“I used to not really do homework or do readings when I was supposed to, so now I actually kind of force myself to do everything that I have to do,” she said. “It’s all on you if you don’t get good grades.”

Williams is not the only student changing habits. Jordan Charles, a junior architecture major, said this year he’s working on being more organized.

“I had to work on my organization way more than last year because last year was organized chaos,” he said.

“Everything was everywhere, and I just kind of picked it up.”

Charles also said he’s accommodating better than last year because he knows what to expect.

“It’s kind of like you walk into a dark room and you don’t know what’s going on,” he said. “This year is sort of similar to last year. I know the ropes now. I’ve got techniques I use to better myself.”

Unlike Charles, who already knows what to expect, Halasah has been using a different adjustment strategy.

“I just kind of watch what the upperclassmen do,” he said. “I’ve met a couple and I just ask them for advice, different things. They’ve gone through it already.”

Halasah’s idea to talk with other students is something Sciartelli said is important in aiding the adaption process.

“The more people they talk to, the better they set up their expectations of what it’s going to be like, the easier it’s going to be to manage,” she said.

In fact, Sciartelli said she teaches students in her psychology of adjustment course that people with a good social support network end up adjusting better than those who do not.

She added people with a good sense of humor, problem-solving and decision-making experience or people who embrace challenges are all better able to adapt.

“In the abstract, adjustment really is about managing the challenges of your immediate surroundings successfully,” Sciartelli said.

For those that are having a tough time adjusting, Sciartelli suggests using one of the many services on campus, like counseling.

Contact Alyssa Newman at [email protected].