By TYESHA VINSON, Student Life Editor

It’s a new school year and with any new school year comes new students. The transition from high school to college can be difficult, but there are ways to make things a little easier.

Erica Hollins, a 2009 graduate said, “My high school to college transition would have been easier if I knew that every grade matters. I’m still haunted by a C+ I got in my freshman year that affected my GPA through graduation. I ended with a 3.8, but still. It is so much harder to raise a GPA than to lower it. So no matter how awful that 6pm history class might be, do not slack.”

This year slacking off and procrastinating can be very tempting, but there are ways to balance your work and social life. As you progress, you’ll begin to realize that although the work is challenging, it won’t consume your life. University of Michigan-Dearborn sophomore Galia Espinoza said, “I put my priorities in order and always put school first. I’ll admit work sometimes gets more important to me. But I go back to my studies and realize that this position is just the beginning of my career. My education will help me get to the very top. This type of optimistic thinking is what helps me balance everything out.”

Jasmin Shamoun, a senior in the College of Business said, “Working 40 hours a week, being a full time student, and being involved in two school organizations (Supply Chain Association and Student Advisory Board) has been quite the challenge. The key to balancing this schedule is being organized. Writing everything in a planner or keeping it on a calendar is a great way to stay organized. Also, it helps to keep your priorities straight. School always comes first.”

Another part of the transition that may seem difficult is keeping up with the professor during class. Sometimes they may say something you didn’t quite get or you may just have a question about. Don’t hesitate to ask for an explanation, there are probably five other people with the exact same question. And the better you understand something the easier it is to study for exams. 2013 graduate Sandra Garcia said, “If you are not understanding the material, go visit your professor during office hours.”

Once you’ve found a balance between school and your social life it will become a lot easier to get involved on campus. Aside from the academic parts of college, getting involved is one of the most important parts. People form bonds with others outside of class that they share common interests with, and the end up gaining new experiences and make memories. Geetanjali Dutt offered this piece of advice, “Get involved on campus otherwise it could get really boring.”

On a campus like ours there is always something to be involved in. Take the time to look at the flyers and you’ll see that there are opportunities for everyone on campus. Hollins said, “For anyone starting at UM-Dearborn, my biggest piece of advice would be to get involved. At a school where many students commute, it’s all too easy to just go to class then go home, but that’s not how you build connections and lasting relationships. Take every opportunity to get to know the clubs, intramural sports, Greek orgs, or any other student gatherings.”

Take advantage of everything this University and its faculty has to offer. Rachel Mifsud, a professor at UM-Dearborn said, “There are so many resources here for students and your tuition helps pay for them. Mid-semester, once you have settled into college, take the time to find out about the different programs, facilities, activities, and groups on campus.”

As time passes you’ll see that being a college student is only hard if you make it hard. Garcia said, “School is not hard. Knowing how to manage time and prioritize is.”