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Woodbury graduates prepare for college college transition

Super Target in Woodbury had dorm room supplies ready for college freshmen.

The air is starting to chill, school supplies are for sale and college students are moving to campus.

For Woodbury's high school graduates of 2012, this summer has been a transition into a different life. Some students are anxious to leave home and others are unsure of how to find their place in a new setting.


For some graduates, their transition to college started at orientation in June or July. This is a time for students to register for classes, learn how the college functions and meet classmates.

For Woodbury High School graduate Amanda Dahl, orientation at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities was a helpful experience.

"All of the information was new to me, so it was nice to have it explained," she said. "It was exciting to meet some of my new classmates and explore the campus, too."

The orientation experience at Taylor University in Indiana wasn't as necessary for New Life Academy graduate Claire Hawkins.

"I already knew the campus well and my roommates, but it did get me more excited," she said.


One of the most anticipated things in the transition to college is receiving the rooming assignment.

There are some students, like Hawkins, who request to live with friends. Most students, however, opt to let the school decide their roommate for them.

With the social media world growing, it is easy to connect through Facebook. This is especially helpful with international students.

"My roommate is from Turkey, so I just Facebooked him," said East Ridge High School graduate Tommy Ollmann who will be attending University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dahl's roommate assignment came in a unique way.

"I connected with my roommate through Facebook on the U of M Class of 2016 page," she said. "We started talking and decided to meet each other. We both got along and had similar interests so we requested to be roommates."


As students continue to learn how their freshman year is going to look, there are a lot of purchases to make. The costs can pile up. Sometimes students have to prioritize their purchases.

"My top priority was a laptop. A futon and fridge were pretty far up there on my list too," Hawkins said.

Dahl said bedding was a top priority.

"I'm going to need the sleep," she said.

Ollmann was concerned about bedding as well. He said, "I was worried I wouldn't get sheets to match the blanket I have 'cause I was shopping so late."

Joe Goodell, a WHS graduate, said his top priority for his first year at St. Olaf College is "socks, lots and lots of socks."


When the purchases are completed and everything is packed into the car, it is time for move-in day. Bringing boxes up to the dorm room and unpacking makes the change real for students.

"I'm excited to move in but feel a little overwhelmed with packing everything and what to do once my family leaves," Dahl said.

College freshmen are moving into their dorms throughout all of August. Some colleges give students specific move-in time slots.

Saying goodbye

Moving away to college can have bittersweet moments. Saying goodbye to family and friends can be tough, especially when in an unfamiliar place.

"I've already had some goodbyes and they are not fun," Hawkins said. "I've gone to school with the same people for 15 years, so it's hard to think I won't be seeing them everyday anymore."

After the goodbyes, homesickness is most likely going to hit college freshmen at some point. Goodell has a strategy for fighting off those feelings.

"When I get homesick I'll just remember my mom's cooking and it'll pass soon enough," he said.

Classes and new friends

Once the transition is finally made, students are left to attend their first day of class.

Dahl expects her classes to be overwhelming.

"It's always a hard transition going from a carefree summer to classes," she said.

Despite the tough academics, college freshmen can look forward to the new connections they can make on campus.

"I'm excited to meet new people," Dahl said. "It'll be fun to connect with people going into the same major and others that are completely different from me."