Ava Miner ’17
Hometown: Bethesda, Maryland
Any advice on how to smooth the transition from high school to college?
The biggest difference between high school and college is the responsibility. In high school, people are constantly telling you what to do. Curfews, class schedules, and study times are pretty much all planned and organized. In college, there is no one telling you what to do. You won’t get sent to detention for missing a class and you won’t be grounded for coming home too late at night. The key is to understand this huge amount of freedom and responsibility and use it to your advantage. The transition between high school and college will be much smoother if you can make up your own routine to keep yourself on track. Force yourself to go to class but also make time for fun. Your life schedule is completely up to you now. Like my mom always told me, “With great freedom comes great responsibility.”
Do you have advice for incoming students as they’re packing for their move to campus?
My best advice is to pack warm clothes. Before I left for college, everyone told me it was going to be really cold and I initially thought it would not be any more cold than Maryland winters (for example, the “snowpocalypse”), but I was so wrong. It gets colder quicker in Central New York and it is much more windy. I suggest lots of layers, hats, and a good pair of snow boots. You also have to consider what you want and do not want to have to leave your dorm for during these winters. A lot of times I didn't want to brave the cold just to get a snack from the campus store, so it was always nice to have those things readily available in my dorm room.
Do you have any tips for budgeting living in Syracuse?
My first tip is to check your bank account weekly. The only way to know if you’re spending too much is by actually seeing the changes in your money. If you notice that you spent $50 in a week, you’re much more likely to cut back on the spending the next week. I also suggest making a list of things you actually need and another list of things you want. This will help you differentiate and realize the important things that are worth spending your money on. My last tip is to set a specific amount of money you want to spend each week and actually stick to it. Budgeting can be fun and rewarding if you’re successful at it.
What is the healthiest way for a college student to cope with homesickness?
The healthiest way is to call home! I know it seems like calling home would make it harder, but your parents and siblings are the ones that know you the best. Your family is going to be the ones who understand how you feel and genuinely want to help and be there for you when you’re going through hard times. Sometimes I feel much more comfortable calling my mom to vent about missing home or an issue than I do talking to my roommate. Plus, your family probably misses you just as much!