Transitioning from high school to college is both an exciting and frightening period in a student’s life. For most people, the shift from high school to college is the most significant adjustment they have ever made. Consider what you’ll do to help yourself make a seamless transition before you leave the nest without looking back. Even if you believe you are completely prepared and have been dreaming of this for years, you will almost certainly struggle with the college transition.
One of the reasons that make this transition so tough for many individuals is that it involves much more than just education. For the first time, you’re away from your parents, you’ve gained total independence, and you’re potentially separated from all of your high school friends. The way you’ve lived for the previous eighteen years is about to alter dramatically.
But don’t worry! In this quick guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about the transition to college, the resources you’ll need, and everything else incoming students needs to know about transitioning to college student life. These tips are helpful whether you’re transitioning to community college or a full university.
Establish a new routine from the get-go.
Our lives are more stable when we have a routine. Within your first month of college, try to establish a new habit. Make a schedule for studying and completing homework. Make an attempt to maintain a consistent sleep pattern and eat on a regular basis. Because college affords so much independence and less direction from parents and professors, many students struggle to create a routine. Taking the initiative to do so, on the other hand, will relieve a great deal of tension.
Before you leave for college, make sure to plan your routine accordingly:
● Look into tutoring options/programs and make appointments ahead of time.
● Look over your curriculum and make sure your schedule isn’t too overwhelming or unrealistic.
● Look into potential extracurricular activities that can make your campus experience more rewarding and good for your mental health.
● For students with disabilities, get in touch with your school’s disability services offices to ensure accommodations will be ready to go once you arrive.
● Create a career plan, even though this is likely to change as you go through college.
● Create a full Monday through Friday daily routine to help provide stability.
Drop your expectations and beliefs about college experiences.
When it comes to college, we have a tendency to have certain expectations. The popular perception is that this is a carefree, independent period filled with opportunities to meet new people. Having particular expectations for your college experience, on the other hand, might place a lot of pressure on you to do things “correctly.” You may be frustrated if your college experience does not go as planned. Make a deliberate effort before starting your first semester of college to let go of whatever expectations you may have and simply enjoy the current time.
Explore new hobbies and interests outside of your class programs.
Getting active in campus life is a terrific opportunity to broaden your horizons, meet new people, and get away from your courses. There are numerous clubs from which to choose. LGBTQ+ students, first-generation college students, and students of color all have groups at many schools. Honor organizations, fraternities, sororities, and intramural sports teams are all options for college students. To learn more about student groups at your school, visit your college’s website or go to a student activity fair.
Know where your resources are.
Your families or college recruiters may provide some resources for college ahead of time, and you might think that you won’t need any additional resources once you arrive in college. Most universities, however, provide a variety of student services to assist you in making the move to college. Many, for example, have academic advising offices and a line of tutors for various subjects. Academic advisers can assist you in selecting courses and fulfilling major requirements. Tutoring, academic achievement coaching, and career counseling are all available at many institutions. Consider contacting your school’s career center if you want to work while in school or need assistance getting started with your job hunt. It’s also smart to know your academic advising office’s office hours ahead of time.
Make college friends and find opportunities to lead.
In college, form a support group of friends. Recognize that you will fall and make mistakes while in school. Your support group will guide you through the process and provide support when you need it.
You may also want to look into various leadership positions. Whether you were a leader in high school or not, you can take on a leadership role in practically every organization you join in college as a freshman. College might be the ideal setting for you to reinvent yourself and grow into a better version of yourself.
Listen to your body.
Everyone’s heard of the “Freshmen 15” where new students will gain weight because of the stress of school and the new environment. However, you should care about more than a couple of pounds. You are about to enter a whole new phase of your life, so be mindful of what your body is telling you in your first semester. Add variety to your diet and try to opt for whole foods when possible. Walk to your classes when possible to keep your body moving. And, most importantly, try to get a solid nine seven to nine hours of sleep a night. You might be surprised by how much more alert and good you’ll feel in your classes.