Self-Reflection during Transition to College: A Qualitative Understanding of Women Becoming West Point Cadets

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kimberly Turner Helms (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Bert Goldman

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to explore identity and self-reflection during the transition to college. The stories of six women entering the United States Military Academy at West Point were collected on three different occasions: prior to entrance, during the first week of classes, and at the end of the first semester. Scaffolded upon the literary genre of the bildungsroman, the "novel of formation" (Hirsch, 1979, p. 293), these stories of women's development and meaning making converged into five motifs: family legacy, carrying, a plebeian existence, self and other, and reflection. Their choice of vocabulary and other features of language additionally signaled their stance within this particular educational milieu. The narratives suggest that these students most value relationships; that transition to college begins prior to entrance and extends beyond the first semester; and that the quality of reflection depends on epistemological perspective.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2008
College students, Women, Identity, Reflection, Transitions, US Military Academy-West Point
Women college students
Identity (Psychology)
College freshmen
Self-perception in women.

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