Congratulations! You’ve graduated high school and are looking forward to the next step. You’ve chosen a college to attend, applied for financial aid, picked the classes you want to take, and ordered your books. You probably even took a tour of the campus. But now that all the busy preparations are over, maybe you’re starting to get cold feet. What is college like? And how can you make sure you’re ready for college life???
College is a unique experience for everyone. It’s an exciting time when you’re no longer considered a kid and are venturing out on your own as an independent adult. College is about finding yourself while at the same time broadening your horizons. College opens doors for you that high school doesn’t. College can also challenge you and shape your future in ways that you might not expect.
Here are some ways that college is different from high school:
- Academics. College offers a wide variety of classes, in subjects you’ve studied in high school plus many more that you haven’t.
- Electives. College electives allow you to take classes in other subjects that you want to explore, outside of core courses or those required for your major. Choose something fun and completely different!
- Extracurriculars. College is much more than just coursework.
- Social life. The college student body is made up of people of various ages and backgrounds, who may come from different states and countries, and are willing to . No more high school cliques!
- Homework. College professors treat you like an adult and expect you to get your assignments done properly and on time with no excuses. But colleges also have resources to help you, like study halls and tutoring.
- Freedom. You are on your own as a college student. You can come and go as you please. You can take classes that fit your schedule, whether it’s in the morning, afternoon, or night. You can eat lunch when and where you want. But with your new-found freedom comes responsibility. It’s up to you to maintain a balance between studying and socializing.
As a first-time college student, there are many things you can do to prepare:
- Attend orientation. Attend your college’s orientation program to learn about the campus and go on a tour to find out where everything is.
- Get involved. Join clubs and organizations that interest you. It’s a great way to meet other students and make new friends.
- Meet with your academic advisor. Your academic advisor can help you choose a degree program and plan your academic schedule.
- Come to college prepared. Have your backpack, textbooks, and notebooks ready to go on the first day of class.
Here are some additional tips for college success:
- Pay attention in class. Attend all of your classes and take good notes.
- Manage your time. College courses require more time than high school courses, so it’s important to manage your time effectively.
- Develop good study habits. College courses are more challenging than high school courses, so it’s important to develop good study habits.
- Take advantage of resources. Your college likely has many resources available to help you succeed, such as tutoring services and writing centers.
A college campus is its own world, filled with a wide range of new things to discover. It’s normal to feel nervous about going to college. College is a big change from high school, and it can be overwhelming at first. However, many students quickly find that they like college and enjoy the experience. Remember that you’re not alone – many other freshman students are feeling the same way you are. If you’re feeling anxious, try talking to someone about your concerns. Your college likely has resources available to help you adjust to college life. Homeschooling Teen also has posted a variety of articles with helpful advice related to college life which you can read here.