Transitioning from High School to College
When you finally graduate high school, it can be an extremely emotional and happy experience. For many of us, the next step is college. The transition from high school to college can often be difficult because college is so different from high school. There are new opportunities to consider, new people to meet, and new challenges to face. For Red Cross youth volunteers, this often means moving to a new area (and a new Red Cross chapter), which can be a tricky process.
If you are moving to a new area for college, you should first inform your local chapter that you will be transferring. This is handled by individual chapters, so be sure to do this well in advance before you leave. The most important thing a student can do is research. What kind of college are you attending? Where is it located? Do they have a Red Cross Club you can join? These are just some of the questions you should explore the summer before freshmen year. Sending an email to your college’s chapter contact will help you gain an understanding of what the chapter’s focuses are as well as learn what opportunities you can take advantage of. Doing this will help smooth the transition and make things a little less stressful during your first weeks of class.
After you contact your new chapter, find out if your college has a Red Cross Club. If it does, great! You can email the President and get started right away. Keep in mind that the club may be run in a different way than your high school club was. If your college does not have a Red Cross Club, you can still volunteer with the Red Cross. Reach out to see what opportunities the local chapter has for college students. Alternatively, if you are very passionate about the Red Cross, you can try to start your own club. Remember that redcrossyouth.org has many resources, including Club in a Box, available if you choose to do this. A little initiative can really pay off in the long run.
Most importantly, remember college is a time for self-discovery. You will be challenged in new ways, and you will be able to push yourself to new limits. Whether you continue your Red Cross journey, or decide to pursue new endeavors, remember the things you learned as a Red Cross volunteer, and use those experiences to help you better understand what it means to give to others. A wonderful journey awaits you.
– Josh Lovett, NYIM Liaison
Note: If you are a club leader and would like to provide support for your graduating Red Cross volunteers, consider distributing the Transition Packet for High School Graduates found here.
– Waverley He, YouthWire Editor