transition to college

transition to college

Freshmen Beware: Differences Between High School and College

Think college will be just like high school? Think again. Read these differences so you know what to expect come your first day of class.

You may have more time on your hands: Even full-time students come to find that they may only spend half of their day in class. Some schedules even allow for several hours in between classes. College freshman often get excited with all this free time and take on more than they can handle. Getting a part-time job or joining an extra-curricular activity is a great use of this time, but your college education comes first. Be sure to leave time to study and do homework.

Your professors won’t give you detention for skipping class: Some of them don’t care if you show up. Others will likely do roll call by having students sign in. A professor will not take the time to find out why you’re not coming to class. They may dock attendance points, but there isn’t a principal that will call your parents. Colleges and universities assume that since you are paying tuition, you’ll get your money’s worth, and go to class. Remember that you’re an adult now, so it’s up to you, not your parents or teachers, to make education your responsibility.

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Resources That Make College Life Cheaper

Going to college is considered a rite of passage for most people. Students often can’t wait to leave home and enjoy living on their own as adults. While college is all about education, there are some life skills that are needed to make your college life bearable.

College students are known for having to live on very little funds due to their class load and being away from home. Many students don’t work so there is very little disposable income to go around. Below are some tips to make college life much more affordable. Minimizing your expenses can go a long way in having a good college experience. It will also help you avoid the temptation of borrowing money through student loans for necessities. Try out some or all of these ideas to maximize your dollar.

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Choose the Right College Clothes for the Right Climate

If you’ve chosen a college in a different climate zone that your hometown, then adjusting to the weather is just one more college transition that’s going to take place. The south-bound northerners will relish the warm fall days and mild winters, while the north-bound southerners will realize quickly that long underwear are very real and very necessary. college girl in sunglasses

Preparing your wardrobe for the climate change ahead is quite simple, and will afford you a back to school shopping spree!

Wardrobe needs for warmer climates:

Coping with College Transition Stress

lost college studentEvery major change in your life is a stressor and requires adjustment, even the positive events. Transitioning from high school to college is an exciting time in your life. Whether you are going across town or across the country, there is a transition to living in a new place.

  • The adjustment will go more smoothly if you give yourself time to join your new community.
  • Give yourself a month or so before visiting home.
  • Keep in contact with people from home who will support you.
  • Don’t forget to participate in your new environment.

Some of the other ways you can embrace the new lifestyle include: Read the rest of this entry »

Adjusting from High School Academic Expectations to College

Most incoming college students are in for a shock when they first enter a college classroom—even if they did well academically in high school. The set of expectations are quite different, and it takes some time to get used to the changes. Here are the changes you can expect.

First and foremost, you are responsible for your own education. College instructors will be more than happy to answer questions and help you if you stop by their office hours. But they’re not. It’s up to you to:

    • Read the syllabus and know when your deadlines are. In high school, you may have had daily reminders about what to read for the next class period, or that a paper is due next week. Not so in college.This information is all on the syllabus, and you’re responsible for keeping track of it.
    • Take good notes. Although the instructor might use PowerPoint or give you some kind of outline to help you organize your notes, don’t count on it. You need to pay attention and get it all down.
    • Figure out what’s going to be on the test. Yes, you might get study sheets and some information from the instructor about what to study. However, in a college classroom, anything you read or hear about in class in fair game for the test.
    • Get help if you need it. Help is available, but you have to ask for it.

Second, one big change from high school is the amount of time you’re expected to spend studying. Instructors generally expect 2 to 3 hours of time outside of class for every credit hour you spend in class. That means if you’re taking 15 credits, you’re expected to spend 30 to 45 hours outside of class studying every week. Sound like a lot? Not if you want to do well.

Another big change is the difficult level of the reading. Your reading assignments will be longer and more difficult—and you’ll be expected to complete them.

Finally, a big change is your schedule itself. Although you’ll probably have an academic adviser to help you out, no one is going to tell you exactly what you need to take. You get to choose your major, choose your electives, and figure out which classes you need to fulfill the requirements for the school and the major. If you forget to take a class that’s required for graduation, you won’t graduate–end of story. Again, academic advising can help you—but you have to seek this out. It’s rarely required for students to meet with their academic advisors, so take advantage of the help that’s available.

If this sounds overwhelming, it is—but it does get easier if you’re willing to put in the work. Come to college expecting to be a little overwhelmed, and know that you’re not alone.


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