Transitioning from high school to college is a big change. Students go from living under their parents’ roofs in the same routine of school and chores to a forced independence. With new chores and schedule-setting, new freedoms and new restrictions, college is a whole new phase in life, setting the stage for adulthood. For many people, especially teens with a greater dependency on routine and consistency, it can be quite difficult to adapt.
Though it may be challenging, there are many ways to prepare for this transition.
Even before classes are selected, students can read subject-related books and do related projects to prepare for their college studies. If not already selected, potential majors should be studied, comparing job potential, salary, the level of degree necessary to be successful in the desired field, and many other factors. Once classes are selected, it is best to start summer work as soon as possible, to minimize last-minute stress caused by procrastination.
Anyone preparing to enter college, and really anyone in general, should work on time-efficiency skills, minimizing procrastination and distracting habits (such as needlessly checking one’s smartphone or social media). Additionally, students should get in contact with their professors as early as they can, to start building a relationship with them. This can be invaluable throughout their college years! Even besides teachers, students should learn where they can go for academic help and advice, such as counselors and school libraries.
Many seniors have to leave their old high school friends behind, leaving them scared and feeling isolated as they think of freshman year in a new and unfamiliar place. One possible solution to this is to reach out on social media or check other posts to see who is going to the same college; this can help to create friendships prior to attending university. Another solution is to make the most of orientation week, talking to anyone and everyone. Although this may sound dreadful to many people, it is better to put yourself out there than be all alone.
It can also be useful to join student organizations and clubs of interest. It’s also important to learn how to stay safe on campus, whether that be through self-defense techniques or memorizing the campus map beforehand.
It’s a good idea to consider getting a job while attending school. The outcome of that decision can vary from student to student depending on factors such as classes selected and their workload, extracurricular commitments, and whatever else may come into consideration. It’s also advised to research the financial aid office, so in case of a change of circumstances or financial issues, the office can be contacted. And students should learn how to manage their own money if they have not done so in the past. This can help prevent overspending or money mistakes, such as forgetting important payments.
Even though the transition from high school to college may be scary, there are many ways to prepare for the great challenge–and adventure–lying ahead.
If you need help in this new stage of life, check out our Academic Life Coaching services: