Starting college is a rite of passage in the Western world. For many students, it’s the first time they are living on their own, away from their parents, so this transition comes with a lot of challenges, which are not always academic ones. The moment a high school diploma has been received and a cap tossed into the air, the reality of having to accustom to a very different college stage in their lives, begins to dawn on both students and their parents. Definitely, a transition from high school to college is not always a smooth one, especially for those who are not prepared. Academic expectations and responsibilities, social life and extracurricular activities- they are all different. However, many students have gone through college and had a smooth transition, because they knew what to expect right away.
So, here are some tips on how to survive the first year in college:
• Getting to Know Campus
Many students take it for granted that, with some help, they will be able to navigate their way through campus. However, navigating the labyrinthine area of campus can cause many frustrations (such as being late for classes) to those who are inexperienced. Luckily, many colleges have apps helping students to navigate their college easier. Even when they do not have, it is recommendable that students take some time to study their interactive campus map and learn the location of three of the most important campus facilities: the health center, the campus bookstore and the library. It goes without saying that it is equally important to feel safe at college and follow all the campus’ safety procedures.
• Sharpen Tech Skills
While college is any many aspects different from high school, there is one constant- essay writing. In order to become a better and faster essay writer (time is money!), one needs to learn how to type quickly and accurately. And not only that, but searching the Internet can also prove to be a problem, especially when it comes to searching academic databases and learning to make the best of search engines in the quest for references which are necessary to write research papers. In the similar vein, it is equally important to learn how to address a professor in emails: professional tone, no “hey“, emoticons or informal language.
• Time Management
Time management is one of the main differences between high school and college. While in high school, everything is structured and planned in advance, in college, on the other hand, everything is more relaxed and flexible and without decent time management skills, one can easily fall into the trap of procrastination. So it is not uncommon for a student to make a firm decision to spend a weekend studying and come unprepared to class. With RescueTime app it becomes much easier to balance college and social life. This app works by tracking time spent on applications and websites, giving an accurate overview of how a student spent a day. It also allows its users to set alerts warning them when they spend much time on the certain unproductive activity and to block distracting websites.
• Know Where to Find Help
Those who were introverted at home, soon discover that they will need to become much more extroverted while in college- if they want to succeed. It is important to communicate with professors, either by sending them emails, or meeting them during their office hours. It is equally important to connect with peers because they are in the same situation, trying to adjust and learn the ropes, so their experiences can be helpful. Those who are terrible essay writers will also need to find a reliable writing service. College essays demand a high level of writing skills, so getting some initial writing help is a must for many students.
• Additional Activities
If anything, college life is full of activities: drama groups, debating, sororities and fraternities, student government, sports, orchestra. It’s advisable to take part in such activities, not only because they are a great way to find some friends and a distraction from college responsibilities, but also because they help build confidence and prepare students for what lies ahead of them once they leave college- they will need to associate with people.Those who can not afford to pay their tuition and fees, sometimes do not have any other option but to find a job and this requires some additional planning and consultations with professors.
While making a transition from high school to college is not exactly a walk in the park, it does not have to be a stressful experience either. All it takes is to develop some time management skills and learn to set aside some time every day for study. Those who do it that way, soon find out that, unlike their procrastinating peers, they have enough time for everything, both social life and college responsibilities.
About the Author:
Samantha Anderson is Educator and blogger. She loves teaching and is an open-minded person that always looks for additional ways to self-growth. She applies her educational experience to writing study tips for students on her blog and writing research papers for writing service