6 Tips to Make Transitioning from High School to College Easier
Jonathan Ornis just finished his last year of high school. As a NYC College Line summer intern, Jonathan’s main focus was gathering statistics about users of the website and analyzing the data. When not in school or work Jonathan likes to participate in and watch sports like football, basketball, and baseball. His internship advice would be: "Everyone is amazing, knowing that is the easy part. The hard part is knowing what you're amazing at."
Ever wondered what it would be like in your first year of college? All the festivities that come with being an independent student? For many people, college is the closest thing to adult hood before being an actual adult. In college all decisions are made by you. You decide what class to attend, and what major fits your personality. You also decide how and where you buy your textbooks (I recommend finding digital, it’s much cheaper if you can find them). And, last but not least you also decide when you visit advisers, doctors, dentists and a bunch of other things you didn’t have to think about before. College has a tendency to teach important life lessons as you go through your multiple semesters; but, there are some things that you need to know so you don’t get lost. This post might help you along the way.
Tip 1: Start Financial Planning Now, it’s a Good Thing
If there is one thing that should be on every soon-to-be college student’s mind, it should be tuition costs. Currently, America has a total of 1.2 trillion dollars in student debt. This is absolutely crippling students. College debt usually intimidates a lot of people, and as a result students drop out of school, leaving with no degree and tons of debt. Make it your business to have a plan. Get help! Parents, advisers, someone and anyone who can help you create a financial plan for the years ahead. The Personal Finance 101 document is a good starting point. Also, find ways to find scholarships or look into an on campus job to help you pay off debt. In situations to get rid of financial hassles research and ask questions – this combo might be your best bet.
Tip 2: Use Orientation to find out everything!
Orientation is a pretty cool way to get a feel for what things are like before your classes actually start. It’s also an opportunity to find some new friends in similar classes. Make sure to ask a lot of questions, everything ranging from where you can find an adviser to where the bathroom is, it doesn’t hurt to ask. When you do start your classes, you shouldn’t feel too lost or hopeless because everything should have been covered or asked during orientation.
Tip 3: Stay Focused, The First Semester is nothing like the second
Besides the actual price for college one thing students usually get stuck on is their first semester. If you are like most students, you picked the classes that you thought would help you get an idea on what major to pick. These might be “low level” or general pre-requisite courses. Having these classes isn’t a bad thing, basically because it gives you an “easier” chance to earn a 4.0 GPA. But, if you are like a lot of people - including myself - and depending on your first semester classes, you really will not be ready for the spike in difficulty level with your second semester classes. Second semester classes are nothing like the first. I remember having my first semester ending in almost all perfect grades and I felt confident. I took this confidence into the next semester and realized that things were not as easy. I found myself in a frantic panic in the middle of 2nd semester when midterms came around and nothing made sense. The pressure was definitely getting to me and one thing I most definitely didn’t want was to have a C in the second semester of my freshman year. The best thing to do to avoid this is to make sure you are dialed in from day one of every semester so you are never caught off guard.
Tip #4: College Advisers can be life savers
Every college has a different adviser system. Some colleges will assign an adviser to you, and for others it’s by appointment only. Since every school is very different, and even though I’m not an adviser, I strongly advise that during orientation you ask where and when you can contact one. Advisers are one of the few people who you can spend your off time with and talk to about your year and problems you see. Your adviser should be your safe haven when the world is crumbling down. Now, not every adviser is good but when you do find a determined adviser it is best to try and stick with that person and build a strong connection so your college life would be easier.
Tip # 5: Your professor is your best friend
Making a connection with your professor could be vital to your success. In high school you might have heard a lot of “College professors do not care about you”. This statement is NOT true. For some students, class rooms are not the right environment to learn in. It’s easy to get distracted if you’re one in a long and demanding class of 30. If, or when, this happens you have to seek help from your professor especially if a tutor isn’t available for the course. I know first-hand the awkward feeling of having to meet with a professor by myself when I haven’t really talked to her/him throughout the semester; and, then asking if he or she can basically re-teach the entire course over to me in a 2-hour session. It’s also awkward when they start asking you questions that you can’t answer. In the end, it’s better to not know the answer during a study session than to not know the answer during the final.
Tip #6: Stay connected with loved ones
College is no easy task. There are a lot of scary moments that can make you feel like you are not ready to finish. The best thing to do when you feel like this is to reach out to someone to lean on. Family, friends, an adviser, a professor, even a custodian, anyone who can help you lift the pressures of life off of your shoulders can help you hustle through the toughest times of a semester
There are many more complex aspects to college than the ones I listed but hopefully you can use some of these tips to help you stay on your feet in the long run of your college career.
By the way did you find this helpful? Were you interested in any of the topics talked about and plan to search it up? Well you’re already on a website with lots of useful information on how to get in, pay for and stay in so check it out. And some feedback in the comment section will be awesome as well.