college shutterstock_352354727

The Big Jump From High School To College

By Traci Cothran

Diamond is a recent high school graduate from a charter school in Detroit, heading off to college this fall. We’ve been together for four years in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Detroit program, and I recently demonstrated our Gale databases for her, and asked her a few questions to share here on our blog.

You’re a college freshman – congratulations!  What are you excited – and maybe anxious – about?

I’m excited to get away from home and be independent.  I’m nervous about the work load in comparison to high school – everyone says it’s much harder – but I’m confident I have the organizational skills for success.  However, my college has great tutoring resources that I know I can use – and they’re located right in my dorm.  I’m not planning on working or doing sports my first year to be sure I have a handle on academics.  But I am going to check out the various clubs and organizations and plan to join some.

Did you visit a library at your college during the tour? 

Yes, we toured the library.  The library not only had a floor with books, but I was surprised to find it had a study floor, and quiet floors, too.  There’s a tablet instead of a librarian to use to find resources and direct you to them.  I don’t recall online resources mentioned during the tour.

How much did you use print books and electronic resources during high school?

Once I switched schools after ninth grade, it was 100% digital and worksheets – no print textbooks.  We were a “Google school,” and we were provided with Google computers, with Google software and integration.  I’m comfortable with either digital or print, though sometimes I prefer print.  My teachers used all kinds of online resources, but we did not have a physical library or librarian.

What was especially valuable about your high school experience?

Local internships were offered throughout the school year, so we could find out what certain jobs are really like and get some real life experience.  Since I was thinking about studying business, I also participated in the MREACH program [Michigan Ross School of Business Enriching Academics in Collaboration with High Schools], which helped me understand the different types business careers you can have.

What tools or apps did you use in high school that you found useful or engaging?

Edmoto – where you can communicate with teachers and others students on assignments.  Also, EasyBib for citations.

Can you tell folks what we reviewed this last hour?

Sure.  We looked into a few of the Gale databases – I recognized Opposing Viewpoints In Context from my high school.  And I found where my university’s 290 databases are located, on their website.  I had no idea they were there – so now I know where to start researching for my first paper, and I’ll tell other students where to find them, too.  I feel I’m a step ahead before I even start.  Thanks!

Any time.  Now I think it’s time for lunch.  Buffalo Wild Wings?

Yes – I’m starving!

Me, too.  We’ll check back in with you mid-year and see how things are going.


About the Author

Diamond is a college freshman at Grand Valley State University this fall. She plans on studying business and accounting, and one of her first courses is Intro to Shakespeare. Traci Cothran is a manager on the Gale Database team, a history buff, and an at-home Jeopardy champ.

Leave a Comment