ERIC Number: ED334522
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Transition to University: A Qualitative Study of Freshman Daily Experience.
What is known about freshman students, especially about their lived experience, is fragmentary and unsystematic. This study attempted to construct a comprehensive portrait of the daily experience of freshmen at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. A total of 24 students (20 women, 4 men) participated in the study during a 3-month period. Quantitative data were collected by means of four standardized instruments. Qualitative data consisted of unstructured interviews and daily diaries. With regard to the former, all students were interviewed a total of six times. Topic areas for the interviews included personal identity; expectations; and relationships with parents and siblings, same and opposite sex friends, faculty, and romantic others. The diaries were maintained on a daily basis throughout the first 8 weeks at the university. What was most striking about student accounts of their daily experience was its ecological complexity. All of the students were striving to achieve a workable balance between the social, academic, personal, impersonal, subjective and objective domains. Movement from high school to university involved massive dislocation in students' daily lives. Many variables showed marked variation by gender, most of them in the interpersonal domain. Study participants were characterized by their extraordinary variety. The thrust of this research approach in general, and of these data in particular has immense explanatory and descriptive utility. (87 references) (LLL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Canada; Life Transitions
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American College Personnel Association (Atlanta, GA, March 15-20, 1991).