A transition in their own words

By Steph Wetzel and Eisa Hashmi

Features Contributors

The transition from high school to college is said to be difficult. You have to do the readings before class, write papers that exceed five pages, and in some cases, adjust to a home away from home. The transition for some is easier than for others.

We’ve been told repeatedly that college can be the best years of your life if you do it right. No pressure.

But already, in just the second week, the pressure’s on. Professors and teachers wasted no time getting classes started and assigning work. On top of that, clubs have started up. And on top of that, every freshman, including myself, has been working to familiarize themselves with a new school, and in many cases, a new home. Suffice it to say, the work is starting to pile up.

For us personally, the first week went fairly smoothly. We enjoy all of our classes and are looking forward to the rest of the semester. There’s a lot more reading than we expected, and we’ve already noticed a large amount of students in the library.

For Steph, the hardest part of her week was finding a decent parking spot. That’s most likely going to be a very challenging task this semester, both of us being commuters. We’ve been told the hardest part of college is finding a parking spot. After just a week, we are starting to believe that is true.

Through all of this work, we’ve also had to do the sometimes seemingly-impossible task of making new friends. Sifting through all these new faces in search of one that you have more in common with than just a major can be overwhelming, to say the least. And after enduring lectures, seas of unfamiliar faces, and ridiculously long lines just for a cup of coffee in the morning, sometimes all you want is to see a familiar face.

Fortunately, we have been able to see some familiar faces having come from a local high school just outside of Buffalo, Williamsville East. One of the familiar faces we’ve seen is an English teacher we both previously had in high school who is also starting his first year at Canisius, John Kryder.

Kryder’s transition from teaching at Williamsville East to teaching at Canisius has been smooth. He is enjoying the different academic schedule and the fact that he went from teaching classes every day to teaching only Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

“It’s a good schedule for juggling your responsibilities, whether you’re a teacher or a student,” Kryder said.

Like Kryder, we’ve enjoyed the flexible schedules made up of classes that actually interest us. Kryder has also enjoyed having more freedom in his teaching.

“In terms of setting up a syllabus for Monday, Wednesday, Friday, it is very different from setting up one for every day. With the assignments, you have to be more definite in advance,” Kryder stated. “Each FYS (First Year Seminar) course has common goals that you have to embed; however, the freedom within that is a wonderful feature.”

Kryder has had a long career of teaching high school students. “I taught for 40 years in six different high schools, public and private, the last 26 years being in the Williamsville District,” he said. But Kryder hasn’t only taught high school and college students; he also taught at the Consortium of the Niagara Frontier of Attica/Wyoming, a Canisius, Daemen, and Niagara program for prisoners earning a Bachelor’s Degree. Kryder taught this from 1990-1994. This is also the program that Dr. Robert Butler taught for 39 years, and how Kryder first established his connection with Canisius.

The Canisius community has done a great job welcoming us as new students as well as Kryder as a faculty member. “I’ve enjoyed the welcome of the English Department,” Kryder said. “They helped with the transition. I’ve enjoyed getting to know the students. In part, education is about meeting and working with people you’ve never met before. I really like the atmosphere at Canisius overall.”

Even as individual students and a professor from the same roots at Williamsville East, we agree that the atmosphere at Canisius is very welcoming and has helped make our transition from high school to college a smooth one.


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