Transition from small-town high school to university setting


Sophie Kahlow

Hello! My name is Sophia Kahlow, and I am currently attending the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse for my freshman year. If you don’t know me, I was a senior last year at CHS.

Going from a class size of 86 to 2,300 is a big change, but I am embracing it the best I can. I am a biology major with an emphasis in science education.

Once I graduate with this degree, I hope to teach biology and human anatomy and physiology for high school level students and possibly continue my schooling to become a college professor.

So far, my college experience has been amazing! I have joined many organizations including Colleges Against Cancer and the Fishing and Conservation Club. I am also an active member of Alpha Xi Delta, which is one of the three sororities on campus.

Also, I really enjoy meeting new people from all over Wisconsin and Minnesota and others from around the country. I have even made two friends from Germany and Switzerland who are currently studying here in the States.

Some of my favorite things to do are to go hiking at the bluffs, eat at Five Star Eggrolls — It really is worth five stars! — and go to sisterhoods, which are bonding events or activities for my sorority.

As fun and social as college is, taking on the tasks of focusing on school, social life and self-care can be challenging. I have days when I struggle to balance these things all together, and it becomes overwhelming.

In high school I was always a straight-A student. So to see grades lower than that can take a toll on my mental health, especially because college is a lot harder material-wise to wrap one’s brain around. I’m thankful for the great educational resources on campus that are always willing to help students out to better their study habits and grades.

As I finish out my first semester, I am excited to continue doing activities that have opened my eyes to new possibilities that college has to offer.

For current high school students, I recommend buying as many college supplies before school, so you don’t stress the week before.