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High school seniors learn survival skills for college

TERI VANCE

When Megan Good started feeling sick during her first semester at Northern Arizona University, she ignored the symptoms. She ended up in the hospital.

“I’ve never gotten that sick before because my mom was always there to tell me what to do – drink lots of fluids, rest and stuff like that,” she explained. “I had to learn to take care of myself.”

Now the 2003 Carson High School graduate wants to help her former schoolmates avoid similar pitfalls.

“When you go to college there’s a lot of little things you don’t really know until they happen to you,” she said. “You have to learn them really quick so you can get over them.”

Good, 18, will be one of several first-year college students who will speak with seniors during a “college survival tactics” seminar Thursday at Carson High School.

The seminar is being hosted by the parent-teacher-student association and will focus on some of the difficulties students face when leaving home for the first time.

“I’m hoping that they get out of it those things the college catalogs or admissions people don’t tell you about,” said Cathy Thayer, association president. “Things like: ‘How hard is it to live with a roommate?’ and ‘What are the biggest distractions?'”

Students will address how to avoid gaining the notorious 15 pounds during the first year and how to take personal responsibility.

“When you go to college, there’s no one to tell you to get up in the morning or to go to class,” Good said. “You have to kind of grow up.”

Jessica Smallman, also a 2003 Carson High School graduate, is attending the University of Arizona and will share her wisdom. “Be ready for harder classes and be prepared to switch your major about eight times,” she said. “The options are so huge.”

However, Good is quick to point out that the challenges are well worth it.

“I love college,” she said. “I’ve made a whole bunch of new friends and I’ve learned so much this year.”

Contact Teri Vance at tvance@nevadaappeal.com or at 881-1272.