The transition from high school to college can be an exhilarating and nerve-racking experience. Asking questions and researching ahead of time is a great way to help you assimilate and prepare yourself for a wonderful experience of the college life. There is not one set way to prepare yourself for what lies ahead but there are a few things you can do to make the transition as smooth as possible.
- Make a fresh start. College is a new beginning, a time for you to go out and experience new things. Go out and meet new people and join groups or organizations that interest you, but be careful and not spread yourself too thin. You will probably have a lot more school work to do than you are used to, so leave time for you to do “nothing.”
- Get to know the campus and the area around it. The city or town may be very different from where you are from. You may find something that you can do during your free time.
- Remember to enroll in some “fun” or “fluff” classes. You will have many papers, projects and other work to do. By taking a fluff class it will not only help keep your GPA up but may give you a slight break from all that work and getting an elective class out of the way.
- There are plenty of ways to go out and have fun, do not feel like you have to stay out all night and party. Yes, there will be plenty of parties to attend, but remember failing school should not be an option.
- Get to know your college library. It provides a good quiet environment for studying and many now have computers and/or laptops available to borrow if need be.
- Research you campus looking for where you can get extra help. There are plenty of advisors, tutors, writing labs and teaching assistance that can help you with your classwork.
- Keep in touch with your family. Homesickness may not hit right away but eventually you will feel it. Take the time and call, email or even “Skype” home. Your family and friend will miss you as much as you them.
- Manage your time wisely. Buying a day planner may be a great idea for you. It is important to improve your time management skills making sure those tasks and assignments are done on time and scheduling in that “fun” time.
- Watch what you eat. It is very common to gain weight your freshman year, going a bit crazy with what you eat. Limit your fast-food intake and it might be a good idea to take the time and learn how to cook a few things.
- Use common sense when drinking. Know your limits and be smart. Do not leave your drink unattended and avoid drinking games. You have probably heard this all but it always bears repeating especially the do not drink and drive part!
College can be a terrific experience full of knowledge and fun, but remember why you are there. Your education is preparing you for your future; enjoy it but make sure to take it seriously!