Life Vibes: Healthy transition from high school to college

By Breezey Clark –

Graduating from high school is a milestone at the end of adolescence and for some, the beginning of a new academic journey, going to college. Transitioning from high school to college is a huge lifestyle change for almost everyone, but luckily there are ways to make the transition much easier.

This week during “Life Vibes” I sat down with Bree Rogers, a senior communications major and transition leader at Tarleton State University. Our topic of conversation was the 19-year-old Tarleton tradition known as, Duck Camp, an orientation created to provide a healthy transition for incoming freshmen.

Rogers explained the mental wellness benefits of attending a summer orientation for the recent high school graduates and how an experience like Duck Camp can aid in a smoother transition into college.

“It’s funny because on the charter bus ride to camp everyone is shy and nervous, but by the end of camp it’s completely different and everyone feels so much more comfortable,” said Rogers.

Rogers says many students attending Duck Camp this summer are from towns with approximate populations of a few hundred people.  Though they felt overwhelmed in the beginning, they felt at ease and eager to begin their lives at Tarleton by the end of camp.

Programs like Duck Camp teach students how to manage their time, academics and healthy social activities. It is natural for incoming freshmen to feel nervous and uncertain as to what to expect moving away from home for the first time, but the transition doesn’t have to be a stressful experience.

I asked Rogers about the mental health benefits for students attending Duck Camp, and she said one of her favorite things about this tradition is the life changing experiences that students have during this short period of time. She explained that many students express gratitude and excitement at the end of camp. Several of the freshmen even feel inspired to become Duck Camp leaders themselves.

An article posted by The University of Maryland provides several tips on experiencing a positive transition into college. The article states that taking an active role in education is vital and suggests managing time and utilizing academic services on campus are great ways to make a healthy start. Other tips for an easier transition include:

  • Get to know your professors as well as other students
  • Become involved with campus activities
  • Remember to have fun and enjoy college life

As college campuses continue to grow, orientation and transitional camps are becoming more popular. Rogers has been involved in several Tarleton traditions and programs on campus. She is overflowing with school pride and encourages all students to become more involved in campus activities.

Rogers will graduate this December and plans to attend graduate school to earn a degree in mass communications or leadership and services. Programs like Duck Camp have inspired Rogers to continue her education, and she leaves her legacy at Tarleton State University as a mentor and wellness leader.

Breezey Clark is a senior Communication Studies student from Iredell, Texas. She currently serves as the Health/Wellness Editor for Texan News Service. 

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