Typically, Tower alumni who go away for college are not able to come back and visit. They’re busy living on campus, unable to come home due to the commute. Although, when they come back, they bring
with them advice and experiences to share. Alumni Bradley Coles and Semira Sabanovic who graduated from the Class of 2015 share their advice.
There are so many colleges to choose from, but only one prevails. Programs, finances, and overall atmosphere really affect the decision. “I go to Central Michigan University. I originally chose this college because I wanted to go into Physical Therapy and Central has a really good program for it, but I just changed my major to Marketing/Logistics, which Central is also great in. It’s definitely what I expected and then more,” says Brad.
“I go to Grand Valley State University. I chose this college because it is a good distance away from home, the campus is beautiful, and they have a good PA program,” adds Semira.
Some have it easy, others more difficult when going to a completely new location. “Transitioning from high school wasn’t as difficult for me, but it was unusual. I wasn’t forced to go to class or be stuck in school all day. In college it’s all up to you, self-discipline really comes into play. Academics are, as expected, harder. The coursework is rigorous and time consuming, especially when it comes to exams. Sometimes I study for days and still don’t get the grade i wanted,” explains Semira.
“Transitioning from high school to college was tough at first, especially because I started off completely on my own, pretty much knowing nobody. After a few weeks I was completely comfortable and love the experience to grow and be my own person. The academics are way different than high school. I mean, some classes are pretty easy, but others are really tough and the work isn’t what you immediately expect. No matter what, you always have homework or something to get done for a class but it teaches you time management. As long as you put the hard work in, the good grades will come to you,” elaborates Brad.
Dorming at colleges, roommates and the food make quite the impression. It’s not mom and dad’s home cooked meals anymore. “The food isn’t bad, but it’s cafe food. So it’s not better than a home cooked meal, but it gets the job done. You just have to watch what you eat everyday.
My roommates are awesome. We get along great. That doesn’t always happen for everyone so I lucked out. I’ve definitely made some close friends because of them,” reveals Brad.
“My roommate was actually my best friend. It was definitely different being stuck in a little room with the same person for eight months, but we had a lot of good times. I was really lucky to be with my best friend instead of a stranger. The food at GV is actually said to be better than most schools, but nothing compares to mom’s cooking,”says Semira.
Some people can get really homesick when staying away, others do just a tad, a few none at all! “I never get homesick because up here is just awesome. I always miss my family, but they’re only two hours away and if I want to see them it’s not a bad drive. I usually go home every holiday or for one of my families birthdays, which turns out to be quite a good amount of times. So I get to see them often and it’s nice,” states Brad.
“I didn’t get homesick at all. If anything I missed my cat and my bed the most (along with my parents). I come home around every 3-4 weeks depending on breaks and longer weekends,” adds Semira.
Sometimes, you just have to learn things for yourself. You have to teach yourself things, learn from experiences, and that’s what just these Tower alumni did. “Something I wish someone would’ve told me is that you REALLY have to put yourself out there. It’s good for networking and for making friends. I definitely didn’t really do that this year, so it’s something I’m trying to work on,” says Semira.
“I wish someone would’ve told me that college flies by like crazy. At first, I thought it was going to take forever for my first year to end, but it’s already over in just the blink of an eye. College definitely goes by faster than high school did and I’ve grown so much as a person in that little time frame of my life,” adds Brad.
Overall, both really enjoyed their freshmen year and recommend going away. “My freshman year was pretty solid! I learned a lot about myself, the college and my future career. I’ve become more independent and would recommend going away to college for everyone,” exclaims Semira.
“My overall freshman year was life-changing. I had so much fun, joined a fraternity, made TONS of new best friends, grew as person, and found out what I wanted to do with my life. I can’t wait to come back next year and have an even better year at CMU,” concludes Brad.