Every year, people enroll into university and this is an important transition. Most people look back on this time as the best time of their lives. But when they first start, and they have to leave the nest and become responsible, independent individuals, things often go wrong. According to Kevin Rolle Alabama A&M University (AAMU), of which he is executive vice president and COO, has numerous systems in place to help young people make this transition.
It is enticing and thrilling to move out of a parent’s home and into university halls. However, it also means listening out for fire drills, doing your own laundry, and eating food that is nothing like what mamma used to make. Hence, students often start to feel homesick after the novelty of being on their own has worn off. This is why Rolle has spent a lot of time making sure new students are properly supported when they move into their halls.
At the same time, he understands how important it is that students learn what independent study is. Suddenly, they no longer have a class in which 20 to 30 students, each known by name by the teacher, did the same homework. Suddenly, students are part of a 300 person group and they are responsible themselves for progression. They are responsible for attending their own lectures while at the same time having to resist the temptation of cheap booze and lots of nights out. Hence, students must take the time to plan their study times.
Then, there is the fact that students suddenly have to manage their own money. They may have taken out loans or maintenance grants, and they must resist the temptation of spending it all in one go. Budgeting, therefore, is a key skill that has to be learned, which is also something Rolle helps his new students focus on. He also recommends that his students take out student insurance for their valuables, such as games consoles and laptops. While the halls at AAMU are perfectly safe, there is always a risk of theft and damage. Furthermore, taking out insurance is another important life skill and one that teaches students about money management and adult responsibilities.
Kevin Rolle understands how difficult the transitions can be, and how much of a shock to the system adapting to all the changes can be. Hence, he has made a number of resources available to students, which they will have been introduced to during their campus visits, and are reminded of during their first few weeks on the halls. The school also has an advice center, where students can come for advice if they have questions. Hence, if people are looking to start university, or have just started university and have enrolled in AAMU, they are encouraged to contact those centers.
Most of all, however, Rolle feels that students should embrace the new adventure they have embarked on. Student life is a fantastic life, and a very important part of growing up.