The transition to college is one that happens gradually over a period of time and includes attention to social-emotional readiness as well as academic preparedness. It begins well before suitcases are packed and even before applications are sent. College readiness is signaled by a shifting of responsibility for well-being from parent to child. In support of this impending shift, the Wellness For Life (WFL) 12th grade curriculum touches on the social, physical, and emotional health aspects of nascent adults as they prepare for the next phase of life and academic pursuit.
This month, thanks to the graciousness of Sarah Lott ’18, Becca Cox ’18, Josh Watson ’18, Gabe Nadelstein ’18, Isabelle Stewart ’18, and Mikaela Lawson ’15, seniors were able to hear first-hand accounts of what to expect during the transition to college.These interactive class discussions ranged from how to manage excess time, to homesickness, to roommate relationships, to what to do when you’re stressed, and offered helpful insights such as the value of knowing where the health and counseling resources are on campus. When asked about the course, Bella Ferreira ’19 said, “Wellness for Life allows us to step outside our routine of striving for grades where we feel pressured to keep it all together. We get a chance to see that we all struggle with the same sorts of things and that it’s okay.” Becky Butler ’19 jumped in to add, “I like that we meditate and take a moment to be still.” Both seniors enthusiastically endorsed WFL and expressed appreciation for the unique opportunity.
When looking ahead to what life may be like in college, it is typical for students to feel a mix of excitement and anxiety. It is my hope that through the experiences shared by recent alumni, our students felt a sense of reassurance about their own social-emotional transition to college and are walking away from these discussions with a few tools to help them navigate these next transitional steps with confidence.