Students share their experiences adjusting at HVCC

Nick Fisk
Staff Writer

From the classes and teachers, to the new friends and lack of free time, first-year Hudson Valley students are noticing a drastic difference from high school.

Freshman physical education major Garfield McDonald said, “It was an easy adjustment, [but] you gotta be willing to do the work.” McDonald also noted that “[HVCC] is a good school, the environment is smooth.”

Similar sentiments were shared by freshman health and wellness student Kameron Walker. “High school you don’t really have to study, but in college you do have to.” Walker also said that he had a “smooth transition over to these classes.”

While many students claim that classes and homework are harder in college, some students feel differently. Freshman individual studies student Larissa Engel-Flores doesn’t sense as much of a change in workload. “I feel like I had more homework in high school than in college.”

However, Engel-Flores has noticed a shift in the class environment. “You definitely don’t have the same relationship with your teacher as in high school. You just really have to try here,” she explains.

Even second-year Hudson Valley students feel the stress of a high-demand class schedule.
Sophomore political science major Enrique Lopez was able to sum up his experience so far in one word: “Stressful. Stressful would be the word.” However, Lopez also says that adjusting to classes became easier in his second year. “It’s almost a little boring. It’s pretty straightforward here,” he said.

Sophomore mechanical engineering student Clyde Sisson agreed, saying that he had “way too much going on with way less time.” Unlike Lopez, however, Sisson feels that college work gets easier after your first semester.

Students also find that social interactions change when they make the transition from high school, often discovering that they can simultaneously fall out of touch with old friends while making new ones.

Sophomore entrepreneurship student Carlyle Kent believes the change in social habits is largely due to a change in the necessary effort.“The work ethic is different. You have to work more,” he said.

On the other hand, some students are able to find more time for socialization. Hudson Valley offers more available space for students, tutors and teachers to interact on a more personal level. For example, the Siek Campus Center and Dwight Marvin library are home to many different areas to meet the needs of all members of the Hudson Valley community.

Even with an increase in responsibility, students are willing to spend more time on campus in order to participate in one of the many clubs or events offered by Hudson Valley, often free of charge.

Each student interviewed echoed the belief that Hudson Valley had met all of their expectations.
“I think it’s a great place to decide what you want to do. It’s a great transitioning phase, and it’s also cheaper with less stress,” said Engles-Flores. Kent agreed, saying “[HVCC] is one of the best community colleges around.”

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