College Transition

As a high school senior, Christlyn had a lot on her plate—academics, club meetings, sports, apart-time job, and trying to make time for family and friends. She also decided to start taking college classes for dual credit while still in high school through UA Early College at The University of Alabama.

Learning the Balance

Even though Christlyn was excited to be taking college classes, she knew her schedule would be busy, and she felt stressed about balancing everything. But as it turned out, her first UA Early College course—the four-week UAEC 200 College Readiness Course—put her mind at ease. “UAEC 200 teaches you how to be better at all the things that make you a successful student,” said Christlyn. The course focuses on time management and reading and understanding college textbook material, as well as preparing for college tests. After taking that course, Christlyn felt more prepared for her first full-semester college course.

Applying the Skills

Not only was Christlyn able to implement these new habits in her college classes, but she found they helped her excel in her high school classes, too. Things were going well, until Christlyn enrolled in Art History 252, a survey of art history, and then she started to feel stressed again. She just wasn’t learning the material. Christlyn was nervous about asking for help, but eventually, she reached out to the UA Early College student success coordinator for guidance.

Seeking Out Assistance

The student success coordinator helped Christlyn find the tutoring assistance she needed through UA’s Capstone Center for Student Success. “In high school, I studied a lot, but I wasn’t studying the ‘right’ material,” Christlyn recalled. “Not until taking the art history class did I really begin to understand how to discern the relevant concepts. I found using notecards to study was one of the better tactics that helped me really learn and connect the concepts.” The coordinator also guided Christlyn toward many other (free!) resources she had access to as a UA Early College student, including the UA Writing Center, the Career Center, and the UA Libraries, among others.

Christlyn learned three important things that helped her as she transitioned into her freshman year of college: Always be willing to ask for guidance. Faculty and staff can point you to more helpful resources than you might even have known were available. Realize college will be different. College classes will offer a new level of academic rigor. Dedicate more time to your studies to ensure you will be successful in your classes. Establish your own study habits. Each semester, your schedule and classes will change, but finding out early the best study environment and strategies that work for you will help you in the long run.

To learn more about UA Early College and the academic opportunities available to high school students through this premier program, visit or call 205-348-7083.

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