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Making the Move: From High School to College

Making the Move: High School to College

A student’s freshman year in college is an exciting time. New friends, new subjects, and new challenges all await students as they make the move from high school into college. Freshman will experience new levels of freedom, which requires students to take on many new responsibilities. To add to the pressure, students who have academic scholarships must maintain a minimum GPA to keep their scholarships. With so many new challenges facing students, it is important that students understand what to expect and how to handle the new world of college to ensure that they have an enjoyable and memorable freshman year.

Here are a few helpful tips to make the transition as smooth as possible:

  1. Familiarize yourself with your college campus.You have likely toured your college campus already, but take some time during orientation or a campus visit to really make your college feel more like home. Find good contacts in major departments, email your professors, and meet a few students. Learning more about your college will make you feel more at ease and at home this fall.
  2. Learn about your classes ahead of time, and buy your books early. College coursework is often much more challenging than high school coursework. As soon as possible, find out what books you will need for your classes. If you know you will be taking a few challenging courses, it may not be a bad idea to read the first few chapters of those classes’ textbooks before class begins to make sure you’re familiar with the content. Also, it is always good to email your professors. Ask them if there is anything you can do to become more prepared for their class. Your professors will immediately view you as an engaged and motivated student, and you will have a leg up on the rest of your peers come class time.
  3. Take time for yourself. Yes, your grades are a very important part of college, but make sure you take time to meet new people, make new friends, and explore the area that your college is in. You’ll only be here for a few years, so make the most of it while you can!
  4. Find a mentor. One of the best ways to make the college transition an easy one is to get help from someone who has already been through it. Ask your friends, family, and teachers if they know of someone who is an upperclassman at the college you’ll be attending, and see if this person is willing to meet up with you for lunch or coffee on a day before classes begin. He or she will be able to help you get a feel for exactly how life is at your college, which can really ease your mind. They may also know who to and to not take classes from, which will save you a lot of headache.
  5. If you want or need a job, find it early. Job openings will fill quickly as the semester approaches and students return to campus. Put in applications early, and always follow up so that your name is fresh on the employer’s mind. If you get called in for an interview, be sure to send the interviewer a thank you note afterwards to express your appreciation to them. Your interviewer may only meet you for a few minutes, but a follow up note will help you stay at the top of their mind.

Above all, relax and get ready. College will be a great and exciting experience, and being prepared will only make the experience even better!