Four Years? More Like Five Or Six

The lingo to describe what “grade” you are in college used to be the same as high school, and the grades were just as clear to determine – freshmen, sophomore, junior, and senior. Now, those terms are becoming harder to determine, as well as what “grades” even mean. If you attend a college or university, you most likely know more than one “super senior” or someone who simple can’t answer the question as to what grade they’re in. Now, the lingo is switching to what year they’re in.

I’m a second-year sophomore, however there could be some second-year freshmen or juniors depending on many factors such as class load, classes passed and failed, and so on.


This grey area is creating an identity crisis for some. Do those that can’t answer the grade question lose some sense of self-identity? What happened to the days where transferring didn’t set you back years and you could look at someone and know what grade they’re in?

Thankfully, Salem State University is helping solve this identity crisis by using big and small steps. A big step taken for the university is the new core. The transitional General Education model offers less classes to take with more flexibility that will complement a student’s understanding of their major and the world around them. The second small is step are these helpful tips listed below:

  • Enroll in 15 credits each semester
  • Get to know your faculty advisor and ask for help as needed
  • Study
  • Take the MAP-Works Survey to reflect on how you’re doing and to learn about resources available
  • Meet with your faculty advisor regularly to review your progress
  • Take advantage of academic support services: writing center, free tutoring, math center, and more!
  • Check your degree tracker often
  • Eat a balanced diet, sleep, and exercise
  • Get to know career services to see how your interests and major relate to possible future careers
  • Monitor SSU Navigator status to deal with issues or holds prior to registration
  • Fill out your FAFSA on time
  • Join a student organization and develop leadership skills
  • Participate in campus events – build your network
  • Visit career services to prep for an internship
  • Start your own My Activities Portfolio
  • Network with faculty, friends, and professionals

If you didn’t just mentally check at least eight of those things off of your list, starting following this helpful list. See your in four years to walk across the stage and earn that diploma!


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