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The transition from high school to university plays a role in the future of a student’s academic career. According to Carol Mutch (2015) the step includes moving from being a dependent learner to independent learner, from studying in a learning environment with timetables used to regulate learning to students learning to manage their own time and making decisions in an adult like and responsible manner.
This report is a review of the literatures by Chidzonga (2014), Modipane (2011) and Urquhart (2007) on transitioning from high school to university in terms of academic adjustment followed by a personal experience and social adjustment, to follow up a discussion on recommendations that can counteract challenges faced during transition will be presented. Report will then be concluded.
Literature review on two transitional adjustments Academic Adjustments Academic adjustment is defined as students ability to achieve school work and acceptance of learning environment. Proficiency in language of teaching and the workload and time management (jointly) are the two of many factors that negatively affect first year students’ academic adjustment.
Lack of language proficiency used for teaching and general communication in higher education institutes is a barrier for participation in class, understanding course work, asking for clarity in class which further reflects in academic writing and affects overall performance and grades. Lack of language proficiency is common in international students and students from schools who’s teaching language was not English Students are often overwhelmed by the large amounts of reading and assignments they are to complete to add on to this poor time management skills and inability to handle procrastination can make things worse because one may find themselves in a situation where they have several assignments due at the same time so they work under pressure which usually consists of losing sleep and in some cases poor academic performance.
Coping with a new social environment effectively such as by being involved in social spaces on campus best describes social adjustment. When considering social adjustment relationships with friends and participation in social activities are common factors that affect social adjustment. In other words, first year students with adjustment difficulties usually have minimal interactions with and little social support from classmates, since relations among friends in and out of lecture halls is viewed as competitive, superficial, and selfish. These students are also mostly interested in individual activities in their spare time because they have no friends. Urquhart and Pooley state that developing new friendships, forming and maintaining interpersonal relationships on campus, and participating in social activities university life play a significant role in successfully adjusting to university (2007). When one does not make social adjustments it hinders their communication skills from developing, restricts student from becoming familiar with the university’s resources and facilities, prevents collaborative work for tests and examinations and more important one will not have friends to discuss lessons and tasks with for enhanced understanding.
There are strategies that may come in handy when it comes to minimizing challenges faced during transition from high school to university. This paper will focus on two, specifically participation in community engagement activities and Community Engagement.
Community engagement can be defined as ones interaction with the community. In other words engaging with your surroundings. Community engagement helps students to apply and improve skills, competence and knowledge to benefit the community. It can help you work better with other students which improves ones academic social environment by creating strong relationships with students and lecturers who are also involved in community engagement, It is a great way to minimize stereotypes and increase intercultural understanding.
When I joined the schools community engagement organization I got an opportunity to test my skills, attributes and got to work on my creativity, problem solving skills and critical thinking abilities because The group faced challenges at times. My psychosocial well-being improved because I was exposed to people from different backgrounds with different life stories. In addition I got exposed to a lot of academic and social connections for learning and career opportunities in the health and social care faculty. I learnt about social responsibility and lastly, to show compassion.
Universities host Orientation week for new students at the beginning of every year or semester, it is put in place to help first year students and ease the transition into their new learning institute. During this week students are given in-person advice and the chance to discuss and get support about issues they may face. It very important for one to attend the program because it is a good way to get important information, familiarize one with the campus, meet new people (make friends), find out more about courses, in most cases one may be introduced to the key academic staff which is important for those mid-semester crisis and advice with regards to course one may choose to study and lastly you are given the opportunity to explore ways to get involved in campus activities.
The purpose of this report is to familiarize matriculants (grade 12 students in NSC) and students with a similar international education qualification with the challenges faced during transition from high school to university in terms of academic adjustment and social adjustment. Lack of language proficiency and workload and time management were discussed under challenges and the remedies to prevent these were participating in community engagement organizations to improve social networks and imrpoving knowledge outside of classroom then attending Orientation week to build interpersonal relationships with other new students and ask questions about everything that may be causing academic frustration as well to seek advice about problems one may encounter in the academic setting.
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