COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - From new freedoms to grueling coursework, making the transition from high school to college can be challenging for many students and families, which is why some colleges are already starting orientations to help ease that transition.
Columbus State University hosted Day One of their orientation for new students here at the River Center on Thursday.
The emotional, social, academic, and financial world of incoming college freshmen can be rocked when big changes greet them in just a few weeks, but college administrators say planning from the start and knowing what's in store can lead to a more successful first year.
"It's a very big change in lifestyle," said Dr. Richard Baxter, Dean of the College of the Arts at Columbus State University.
"The research clearly shows that students who come through orientation, they learn about the support services and the programs that an institution may offer, will be so much more successful and much more likely to be retained through out their college career," said Dr. Gina Sheeks, Vice Presidents for Student Affairs at CSU.
Future Columbus State University parents gathered Thursday for a portion of the school's orientation. The big message was to encourage children to get active in the community they are about to enter.
Administrators say while you may not be there to guide them, there are people they can turn to.
"Freshman are always intimidated to go see the faculty member, but that's part of the relationship you build," said Baxter.
"They certainly need to get to know their professors they need to get to know their class mates, they need to get out of their dorm rooms and become involved," said Sheeks.
Administrators say they also educate students during orientation about some slippery slopes to avoid when on their own for the first time.
"More students flunk out of college by not being able to wake up or not having the discipline to go to class," said Baxter.
They encourage students to be ready to work, be social, and seek help when they need it.
Administrators say mapping out college semesters and passing classes the first time you take them can save families thousands of dollars by the time graduation comes.
CSU will host day two of their orientation Friday with advising and registration sessions.