My First Year: Challenges and Triumphs

by · March 12, 2019

For the Office of Student Success, freshman student Erin Gokey shares her experiences changing her major and commuting on the blog today!

While applying to colleges, I knew I did not want to go away to school. I chose to commute, so I applied only to schools within a 45 minute radius from my house. Needless to say, the first and only college I visited was Mount Saint Mary College. From the moment I stepped on campus, I knew that this was the place that I wanted to be. Everyone was so nice and accepting, and there was so much for students to do, even as a commuter.

Choosing a major was not hard for me at all. I knew that I wanted to be a teacher, and being in the education program means to focus in on a subject area for your major. I decided to major in General Science. That was not for me, however. For the first semester, I was working two jobs and enrolled in 17 credits for the semester. It was a lot: I got pre-occupied really quickly and did not manage my time at all. Because of this,  I did not do great at all in my classes, and that was such a letdown.

Finally, I decided to talk to my academic coach about what I could do differently. I decided to change my major from General Science to English, and then get tutoring for the rest of the semester. It was pretty late in the semester when I decided to go and get help though, so unfortunately I was placed on Academic Probation for the second semester. With this, you are limited to the amount of credits you can take during the semester. This was terrible news for me; I was extremely upset. I did know that it was probably the best option for me, but it still is not the best thing to hear. While having to limit myself with the amount of classes to take for the semester did help me get back on track, I wish I had asked for help sooner in the semester, instead of being stubborn and thinking I didn’t need the help. My advice to you: Do not be afraid to ask for help, especially when it comes to your grades. Communicating with your academic coach or your advisor is the most beneficial thing you can do: they know all of the answers and will help you figure out what you can do, regardless of the situation.

Deciding to attend the Mount was by far the best decision I think I have ever made. Yeah, commuting is hard. Especially when you wake up late and the mountain is closed… but to come here, it’s totally worth it. Challenge yourself and manage your time properly. Time management is the key to success.

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