Give Something Back hosted its first two college overnights for its 10th grade scholars in Delaware and New Jersey last month. The overnights took place at New Jersey’s Rowan University and the University of Delaware, and were designed to provide scholars with an opportunity to experience life on a college campus — complete with a stay in a dormitory, meals in a dining hall, classes in a college classroom, and campus tours.

Other activities included a career development workshop, a class on mindfulness, a Q&A with upperclassmen, and an admissions presentation.

“Our scholars got a firsthand experience of what it’s like to be a student on a college campus by spending time in real dorm room, eating typical college food, and having conversations with students who have gone through the college process,” noted Melissa Helmbrecht, executive director of Give Back’s Princeton office. “This is a huge benefit for our scholars, many of whom will be first in their families to go to college and have never set foot on a college campus before.”

Students who attended the UD overnight learned what they can expect from their first day in class during a presentation by Nakia Mack, M.Ed., the Director of Pre-College Programs at UD.

“The #1 lesson you need to know as a freshman is do not walk in on your first day of class and sit in the back of the classroom,” said Mack. “Your professors are going to look at you and assume you’re not ready to learn. Go to the front of the class!”

The students also learned that they need to be prepared to study 30 hours a week for their college coursework.

“People who say college is a full-time job are correct,” added Mack. “When you are in college you are learning to become a critical thinker and researcher. You are preparing to become an expert in your field.”