Four Years After
(The CRIMSON invites all men in the University to submit signed communications of timely interest. It assumes no responsibility, however, for sentiments expressed under this head and reserves the right to exclude any whose publication would be palpably inappropriate.)
To the Editor of the CRIMSON:
With the end of the college year drawing near, it seems apropos that something should be said concerning the problems of Freshmen, as viewed by a Senior.
When a student enters college from school, he is thrown into an entirely different environment and system of study than that to which he has been accustomed. In my opinion, this sudden change is altogether too abrupt. The preparatory schools claim to prepare boys for college but in reality they fall far short of any such preparation. True it is that they prepare for the Entrance Examinations but their success too often ends there. The Freshman knows little or nothing of college life, activities, courses, and absolutely nothing of the new system of studying and note-taking. Consequently, he flounders around during his Freshman and Sophomore years, making needless mistakes, and tries one system of studying after another before he finally finds the satisfactory ones.
As remedies for this situation, I suggest the following:--
1) The preparatory schools should inaugurate a series of informal talks to be given by Seniors in college, college graduates and Deans to the graduating class; these talks to deal with college life, activities, opportunities, courses and requirements, and to take place during the winter term of school.
2) The college should require a Freshman to see his Senior Advisor the second evening after the opening of the collegiate year in the Fall, and once a week thereafter until Mid-years. Furthermore, not more than four Freshmen should be assigned to a Senior and preferably only three, as this is a sufficient number for the thoughtful attention of a Senior Adviser.
3) Either through the English Department or a special compulsory course for the first few weeks of college, Freshmen should be instructed in the various methods of note-taking, the adaptation of the systems to distinctive types of courses or lectures, the best and most efficient methods of study, the organization, of the material of courses for examinations and efficient filing systems for notes of diverse kinds.
The results of the above recommendations would be that a boy would have some ideas of college and its problems before he entered. Furthermore, he would have closer contact with the upper classmen and an understanding of the best methods of study and the preservation of the knowledge acquired. SAMUEL EARL TABER '24.