4 Ways to Transition from High School to College

abcWe know we’re preaching to the choir if we tell you that college is way different from high school.  You’ve heard it a million times before: college means freedom, expanding your world-view, and most of all, time-management.  Before you eject yourself out of your seat so you don’t have to hear another cliché piece of information about college, the following 4 pieces of advice are things that have actually come as surprises to incoming freshman.

So, here are 54ways to transition from high school to college:

1.  Check in with your advisor every semester
In high school, it’s pretty clear what classes you have to take to graduate, and somebody’s more or less holding your hand along the way–and no we’re not talking about your homecoming date.  Whether or not your high school sweetheart heads to the same college as you, you have to take your graduation requirements into your own hands.  Too many college students coast through 4 years of school, assuming they’re on track to graduate and are unfortunately road blocked when they learn they never took that quantitative reasoning class they needed to graduate. How can one circumvent this? Meet once a semester with your advisor to make sure you’re on track. Requirements can get tricky and you want to make sure you fill them. Otherwise, it can cost you more time and worse, more money.

2. Find study buddies
Since you’re eventually going to major in a study, you’ll have the opportunity to deliberately take classes with certain students within your major. Instead of finding yourself lost and confused at midnight before an organic chemistry final, have your trusty study buddies by your side who can help you and vice a versa. Your peers are a great resource–so surround yourself with some study buddies you trust. 

3. Mark test dates clearly in your calendar
In high school, if you were sick, no problem–you could make the test up at a later date.  In college, this gets trickier.  It really depends on the professor and the course.  Never assume you’re going to be able to make-up an exam. Instead, you can usually find out early on what the exam schedule is, and if not, bug the teacher. If you have a conflict you can foresee early on, like a religious holiday, a wedding etc, talk to your teacher at the beginning of the semester. If you wait, it might look like you’re just trying to get some extra study days.  Most of all, you don’t want to miss an exam you don’t have a conflict with just because you didn’t realize when it was scheduled!

4. Give everybody a chance
This goes under the umbrella of “expanding your horizons” but we figured it was too important a part of the transition from high school to college to leave it off. In high school, you could probably walk into the cafeteria, point at each table and say which clique sat where. In college, you have the freedom to completely avoid the clique mentally. Part of this is not prejudging everybody you know. Give people the chance to prove themselves as a friend before you brush them off.  An open mind will turn college into a journey instead of closed off island.

Do you have any pieces of advice for transitioning from high school to college? Comment and share!

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  1. Linnea says:

    Right now, I’m taking a couple four week summer classes. The hours are long, but along with getting a few credit hours out of the way, it’s helping me become familiar with the campus and understand what is expected of me when I pick up a heavier course load this fall. Plus, since the classes are so long, I think it’ll make my Tuesday-Thursday classes seem faster, since I’m sitting through 165 minute long classes four days a week right now. :)

  2. Sabrina Rupani says:

    Join an extracurricular activity

    Just because you’re in college, that doesn’t mean you need to spend every waking second hyped up on caffeine with your own personal burrow in the corner of the library. If you’re going to a college considerably further away from your comfort zone, an extracurricular activity is a great way to either try something new or get involved with something you’re already interested in. And the best part is, it’s a great way to make life long friends.

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