Page 21 - The ALEC Gazette-2018
P. 21

 First-Year Transition
By Micah Willis
The transition from high school to college is one of the most difficult that many young adults will endure. Many first-year students are away from home for the first time and must learn to adapt to a more independent lifestyle in an unfamiliar environment. Students also face a more rigorous school workload with courses taught at a faster pace than most high school classes.
With so many new people, ideas and experiences, the transition can be overwhelming at times, but with the help of caring professors and peers, first- year students can acclimate to their new setting and succeed. Students in the ALEC program credit their success to the close-knit community of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.
“Coming from a small town about an hour away, I was very timid when I started college, but the ALEC department knew how to make me feel welcome and like family,” said Ally Clark, the teaching assistant for CASNR Living and Learning Community team building class.
Even though the University of Tennessee is a large campus boasting over 25,000 undergraduates, Clark said that being on the CASNR’s campus gave her small school benefits and that she quickly made friends and began to see familiar faces in her classes. Although learning to maintain an independent schedule was difficult at first, Clark believes she had a smooth transition.
Two students in the team building course, Chloe Ford and Nathan Penrod also agreed that they had an easier transition than most. Ford, now finished with her first year in CASNR, is excited and proud of her accomplishments with the ALEC program at the University of Tennessee.
“Sometimes I’ll be sitting in a class thinking ‘Wow, I’m at my dream college working
Morgan Hall houses many ALEC courses on the agriculture campus.
towards my dream goal,’” Ford said. “It’s so exciting.”
Along with the family-like atmosphere of the agriculture campus and the ALEC department, students also enjoy taking a wide variety of classes and opportunities to become involved.
Penrod, who is also involved on campus with Collegiate 4-H and FFA, recounts that his Foundations of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications class with Justin Crowe as one of his favorites.
“It was just a hoot being in class with him,” Penrod described. “It was really fun. He’s a really funny guy, and he really cared about students.” Penrod also credited Crowe with encouraging him to become involved with Collegiate 4-H.
Penrod recommends incoming freshmen to become involved and have fun joining clubs and organizations on campus as well as taking advantage of the many internship and scholarship opportunities that both ALEC and the college offer.
“Don’t be afraid to, you know, try something new,” Penrod advised.
Penrod has enjoyed his first year at the university and looks forward to his upcoming years with the ALEC department. Penrod elaborated, “I hope in the next couple years not only do I get an education but I also build those lasting relationships and friendships with people here at UT that I can keep when I get older.” p
 Ally Clark intends on becoming a high school agriculture teacher after graduation.
Tennessee 21
“The ALEC Department knew how to make me feel welcome and like family.” -Ally Clark

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