By Barbara Jolie
Transitioning from high school to college can be a daunting experience for anyone, but it can be exceptionally difficult for some home schoolers. Studies show that academically home school children have nothing to worry about since their independent style of learning and studying comes in handy in college. However, since some don’t have the exact same opportunities to “socialize” with peers during their last few years of secondary education, it can make their overall college experience awkward. Of course, some home schooled children won’t have any struggles adapting to college-life at all, but if you want to make sure that you can handle all the pressures of earning a college education (including being social), you might want to consider participating in some of the options below.
Join Extra-Curricular Activities
One of the easiest ways for you to make friends your age and “wow” college admission officers at the same time is to simply enroll in a few extracurricular activities. You don’t have to exclusively play sports necessarily, although this is the most common choice. Other organizations to consider could be dance (ballet, hip hop, or even Latin), joining a volunteer/community service initiative, attending a summer teen camp (one that pertains to your future course of study would be preferred), or even joining a neighborhood book club. Something that can show admission officers that you have a passion outside of studying is best.
Get a Job
Something as simple as getting a small part-time job can also impress admission officers and allow you to socialize with people your age. It will also teach you about financial responsibility too, which is always a bonus since you will have to monitor your money independently once in college.
Enroll in Dual Credit Classes
To get acclimated to college-course work and the structure of a college environment, you may also want to consider enrolling in dual-credit classes which are offered through your local community college. A dual-credit course is only offered to high school juniors and seniors and is extended to some home schooled students. You have to pay a fee, but dual-credit classes allow students to earn credits for their high school diploma and towards their college degree simultaneously. And since a college professor will teach you an introductory course like English or History I, you can get a feel for what college classes will feel like.
Consider Online Classes
If after everything you just seem too overwhelmed or miss the feeling of an unconventional classroom, then remember that you can enroll in online classes in college too. While there are exclusive online schools, there are prestigious brick-and-mortar schools that offer online programs too. So if you would rather “attend” one or two classes in your college apartment or dorm room until you adapt to the stresses of college life then that can be a good option too.
Barbara Jolie is a regular contributor to www.onlineclasses.org, a website that is dedicated to all-things education. In her free time, she likes to hike and go camping. She welcomes your comments.