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Transitioning to College

Engineering Class being held outside in spring weatherAny time you start something new, there is a transition period. That’s especially true as you begin your college career. College is considerably more difficult than high school. Many of our first-year engineering students tell us the change is bigger than they thought it would be.

Because of the high admissions standards, not only for Notre Dame but also for the College of Engineering, most of our students are in the top five percent of their high school classes. They come to campus expecting to “breeze through.” At least that first semester. And, many do.

There are also several students who find the first semester a little intimidating. And that’s to be expected. The schedule is different. It’s not the same as being home. College professors often expect more of their students. And, you may still be trying to decide if engineering is for you. All of this can take time to sort out.

If as a first-year engineering intent you find yourself having difficulty with University life, there are many resources available to help you through the transition …

  • Talk to your undergraduate adviser.
  • Become part of an engineering study group; you may be surprised how many engineers there may be in your dorm.
  • Talk to an Engineering Peer Mentor; they have all been first-year students, so they know what you’re going through.
  • Take advantage of the Engineering Learning Center and the Student Assistants there.
  • Contact the First Year of Studies; they offer many additional resources for students, including a writing and career center.
  • Schedule an appointment with your professor.