Taking the leap from high school to college can be daunting, but you wouldn’t be in this position if you weren’t ready for it. We’re her to prepare you just a little bit more, for peace of mind’s sake. Here are a few things to keep in mind so that you don’t totally freak out when making the transition:
Time can be tricky in college. On the one hand, you’re expected to put in a lot more study time than you did in high school, and you probably should, especially coming off your senior year. I’d consider my senior year a piece of cake. I had four classes, so I was off campus as soon as lunch rolled around. Because I had taken care of all requirements my sophomore and junior years, I didn’t have much to do my last year of school. Can you imagine what a shocker it was when I started college? I was studying round the clock. Get ready for that. You’re going to have to put in a lot more hours than you have before to get optimum results.
On the other hand, it might seem like you have more time when you commence your college experience. You will likely have about five classes your freshman year, and you probably won’t have all of them in one day. Your classes will be spread out quite a bit, so take advantage of all breaks in between. That time can easily be wasted away, but if you make a plan and manage your time wisely, you won’t feel overwhelmed that you accomplished nothing (except of course attending class).
If you’ll be living in the dorms, or have decided to join a fraternity or sorority, you should find friends fairly easily. Remember, everyone is in the same boat. You’re not attending school with students you’ve been brought up with the last several years. What you’ll be experiencing will be similar to what your roommate, the person down the hall, and the one sitting next to you in lecture hall will be feeling as well. Keep that in mind, and be friendly. Ask people questions, keep your door open during the day to invite people in (especially during the move-in process), and be open to new friendships.
College isn’t only about academics and good grades. It’s about shaping your future through various experiences, connections, and relationships. Do your best to balance out your academic life with your social and work life. If you’re going to have a job, try to find one that’s part-time (if you can afford it), so that you can also focus on extra-curricular and social activities to build more networks of friends. Try to find a few things you’re really passionate about, and pursue them whole-heartedly. You will find that the people you meet and the opportunities you’ll have will be comparable to the things you learn in class.
You will inevitably experience days when you’re feeling low, whether you feel homesick, are having roommate or boyfriend/girlfriend issues, aren’t doing well in one of your classes, etc. That’s all so normal, and you just have to remember that going into it. Try to find people early on that you’ll be able to turn to. Resident Advisers in the dorms are trained to help you get through the issues if you need someone to talk with. If you need more professional help, you can talk to a therapist at school. This service is typically free of charge (covered in your tuition and fees). Take advantage of these people; they’re there solely for your well-being.
Do you have any more tips that helped you transition from high school to college? Please share them with us in the space below!