Students manage transition from high school to college

When transitioning from high school to college, some students tend to deal with many changes. From eating habits to their sleep schedule, college freshmen find it strange to deal with these changes.

“It’s definitely hard going into any new environment,” Elon University student and rising sophomore Addie Holden said. “Especially going into a space where you’re sleeping in a room with a stranger. It’s very tough.”

With new factors such as location and workload changing, many students’ lifestyles change as well. According to the Austin Journal of sleep disorders, food choice and physical activity are closely related to quantity and quality of sleep. The recommended amount of sleep for younger adults is between seven to nine hours each night, however, because of the relentless schedules, the sleep schedules of college students weaken.

“I need to delegate my sleep well, or else I’m gonna start failing my classes,” rising sophomore Clay Burns said. “So I found it much easier to find time to just either take naps throughout the day or go to bed earlier.” 

Food consumption is also heavily affected by college life. According to ScienceDirect, many students adapt unhealthy diets, eating a lot of fast-food and less fruits and vegetables. Stress has been connected to these dietary habits. With that said, the change in schedule, resources and general routine actually forced some new college freshmen to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

“I find it easier as well,” Burns said. “If you have a good schedule that you’re sticking to and if you have healthy foods, it’s going to be a big improvement from high school, waking up, barely having breakfast, having a cup of coffee.”

According to the National Library of Medicine, college freshmen have been recorded to go through drastic bodily and mental changes at the start of college. A reported quarter of freshmen gain a significant amount of weight in their first year of college and sleeping habits often worsen through this transition to adulthood. Students at Elon University have also experienced these changes. 

“Well, for me, at least, physically, I think I got in better shape. And I would walk in so much. I don’t know, I feel like my mental health definitely improved,” Burns said. 

Students have said that as they’ve maneuvered through their first year of college, they ultimately improved by the end and hope they can continue to progress in the future. 

“Later my eating habits have definitely changed,” rising junior Lars Heidenreich said. “I sort of went kind of vegan for a little bit and I was feeling amazing, like I was running every day and drinking more.”

Adwoa Serbour contributed to this article.


Gabrielle Lashley was born and raised in Los Angeles, where she attends Daniel Pearl Magnet High School. After creating art for most of her life, Gabrielle discovered her love of writing in her ninth-grade journalism class. She became a staff writer for her school’s publication, The Pearl Post, the following year. Currently, she serves as managing and special reports editor, where she has created political cartoons and magazine covers, and launched the first season of the publication’s podcast. Gabrielle has also participated in other extracurricular activities, such as Black Student Union and Media Club. Outside of school, she recently completed an art internship. Gabrielle looks forward to continuing her creative journey through writing and art.


Jashiya Maynard-Woods was born in Madison, Wisconsin, moved to Atlanta at age 4, then returned to Madison last year. Since joining her high school’s yearbook staff, she’s improved her journalism and photography skills immensely. As a child, she was drawn to different forms of art, such as acting, painting and writing. She began her writing journey in middle school, composing short fictional stories. Now she writes both fiction and non-fiction stories and, in the future, hopes pursue an education in film at New York University.