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GVSU students produce videos to help high schoolers prepare for campus life

COVID-19 is preventing many future college students from taking campus tours and getting their questions answered, so GVSU students stepped in to help.

ALLENDALE, Mich. — Transitioning from high school to college is a difficult step no matter when it happens, but making that transition during a global pandemic has proven even more difficult for many people.

Grand Valley State University's chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America recognized that high school students who want to attend college need to be able to communicate with current college students to get answers to some of their biggest concerns. So the group decided to expand "Life 101."

"Life 101 is a term that was originally coined by our faculty advisor, Dr. Adrienne Wallace," said PRSSA Chapter President Allison Canter.

"That was a way for her to have real talks with her students about things like how to pay your taxes, how do you advocate for yourself in the workplace, and conversations that don't necessarily come up on a programming agenda or in your classes. That's what Life 101 was for us."

High school outreach is a pillar for PRSSA, and they saw the pandemic as a chance to incorporate their own version of Life 101 as part of that outreach.

"I started to realize that high school students were going to lose a lot of the informal conversation that you get on college tours and the opportunity to ask questions," said Canter.

In late 2020, the group started rolling videos covering a broad range of concerns incoming college students might have, like how to be a good roommate and how to deal with being homesick.

Canter grew up in Wyandotte, Michigan and says she can't imagine not being able to ask questions about the thing that worried her most when she was preparing for college life.

"I wish I would've known that it's okay to have that moment in time where you don't know what you want to do and it's okay to feel like you're still a child or a kid and you feel unprepared because that's kind of the whole point. You're not supposed to go into everything thinking that you know everything."

The videos are being distributed to high schools across Michigan and they are available for the general public on the group's YouTube page.

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