Tiger Bridge Program

photoMy name is Sara Carver, I am currently an eighteen year old, freshmen, graphic design major. I spent most of my life with my single mother living in San Antonio, Texas. Late in my sophomore year I moved to Ponchatoula, Louisiana to live with my father and his wife. At LSU I have become involved with Community Council and ended up being voted as our hall President. My joys come from participating in clubs such as Habitat for Humanity and Sustainability, and hope to be part of CHANGE Break.

Being involved in the Tiger Bridge program has made the transition into LSU a bit different. As bridge students we take our classes at Baton Rouge Community College (BRCC), but we spend our social time here at LSU. The majority of us are in the same classes with each other so being able to come back to the residence hall, do our homework together (or being able to ask others around for help), and socialize with each other because our work is done, is extremely convenient. I think the common misconception about bridge students is that we lack the intelligence that all other freshmen on campus do. This makes fitting into the campus life a bit difficult. Frankly, we aren’t that different from regular freshmen students, we just take classes at a different location than normal LSU freshmen. Most Tiger Bridge students are aware of what it takes to actually become full time LSU Tigers. At the end of the spring semester we must have completed 30 credit hours, 3 hours of Math and English, and uphold a 2.5 GPA. Because we are trying to reach this, most of our time is spent dedicated to studying. However, study groups are where we find our social life takes root. We try to be as involved in FYE and other freshmen activities – or campus activities in general, but most of us are very tired by the time we get back from commuting. There are two things that most of us don’t miss – football games and any activity Bridge puts on for us. Our mentors, Bridge Director, and GA’s give us every opportunity to get out of our dorm rooms and participate in activities.Untitled

One challenge is the commute back and forth from LSU to BRCC. I can’t say things have exactly been “hard” per say, but if I had to pick one difficult thing, the transportation would be my specific pick. Instead of us having to get to the bus stop and then go from A to B, we have a different location which picks us up to stop at one BRCC campus, and then a shuttle picks us up from there to take us to the main BRCC campus. Not only is it over an hour bus ride for a 13-minute regular drive, but riding the bus almost feels like riding the Knight Bus from Harry Potter. That is the one thing that has really made the transitioning life here hard because we all absolutely love LSU

I think a lot of us agree on the fact that transitioning into college life has been completely different from high school. Here is what some other Bridge students had to say:

  • “When you’re in high school you learn one thing and move on. It’s become more of a lecture, learn, take a test, make an A and move on….now you have to study and apply it in different things because things build on each other. I’ve never cherished sleep as much as I do now either.” – Bria Boatner, Business and Sports Management major.
  • “High school doesn’t prepare you at all for college. I get less sleep. Our coffee addiction has increased 10 fold. I’ve become a coffeeholic.” –Connor Hart, Political Science major.

I believe high school doesn’t really prepare you to be fully emerged in school work. When I got to college I wasn’t really fully prepared to be completely dedicated to studying. Like Bria said, I didn’t realize how much actual studying I would do. Each subject adds on to the previous lesson where in high school I just needed to memorize material for that weeks’ test.Untitled.png1

Another aspect we all agree on is just how wonderful actually being independent has been. “The thing with college is you do get a lot of freedom, but you can so easily mess it up. If you’re not careful you can mess up your chances of being someone… so learning to balance has been the biggest struggle. Focus and regulating time is key.” –Teresa Bruno, Health and Nutrition major. No one is here to watch us. Everything we do in college we do because we strive to be someone or complete something. Mom doesn’t stand over us every morning shaking us awake and asking if we want breakfast or encouraging us to socialize. But the thing is, not one of us wants a hand to hold. We love being on our own and making our own decisions because now we’re taking our own steps into the future. Yeah, we know we’re not going to all make it through, but we are ready to charge full force ahead. The coolest part about being here is that even though we are in a sort of limbo, we are all in it together. Our hall is our family and I think that is really what separates us from the rest of campus.

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