Heading to school is exciting and scary, but since it’s so important to the rest of your life, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re as ready as you can be to adjust to college life. This post will give you some suggestions that will help you. Keep them in mind as you prepare and keep them in mind when you arrive. This will help your transition be positive and protect the value of your education and your degree.
Tip Number One: Don’t have too many pre-conceived notions.
Your parents, your siblings, your older friends, your uncles, aunts, and everyone else you know have already given you lots of tips and advice. You should be appreciative for it, but don’t decide that what you’ve been told is how things will happen. You are an individual, and your experience will be your own. One of the risks in deciding what things will be like before you arrive is that your expectations can interfere with how things would naturally occur. You might not get into the fraternity or sorority you want. You might not get the grade you expect at first, and you might be homesick more than excited at first.
When you decide on your future experiences based upon the experiences of others, you might create unrealistic expectations for yourself that will do more harm than good. Don’t fall into that trap! Be prepared to have your own experiences and make adjustments along the way based on them.
Tip Number Two: College isn’t high school.
One of the traps that often leaves incoming college freshmen unprepared is the idea that college is just a high school environment with older students. This just isn’t the case. There is a profound difference between an eighteen year old on his own than a sixteen year old in high school. When a young woman goes to college, she’ll find that the cliques and politics of high school have been, for the most part, left behind. In college, everyone can find a place to belong.
This isn’t to say there won’t be peer pressure. There certainly will. A lot of students find the freedom of their first years away from home appealing, and partying isn’t uncommon at all. If you’re uncomfortable with it, you may face a lack of popularity in the short term, but the reality is that at college, you will have the opportunity to find like-minded students far more easily than in high school. The reality is that in college, everyone tends to go his or her own way.
Tip Number Three: Mistakes aren’t externally managed…and they’re not necessarily bad!
High school is about molding your academic life, and one of the hardest things for a student to take is that it’s different as you adjust to college. Professors won’t send you to the principal’s office. It will take a very egregious act to get you in trouble. In high school, discipline is designed to alter your habits and behaviors. In college, the assumption is made that you are an adult and willing to accept the consequences of your actions. You should know that you will make mistakes. It will happen. Don’t convince yourself otherwise.
You might skip a class that you shouldn’t. You might party a little too much and end up engaging in behaviors you’d rather not. The issue isn’t really what behaviors occur so much as the issue is how you react to them and how you learn from them. In high school, rules were laid down and there were nearly always eyes ensuring you complied and teaching you a lesson when you didn’t. In college, there are still rules, but there are fewer eyes and most of the lesson teaching responsibility falls right on your own shoulders.
Going to college is an exciting time in your life. Keep these tips in mind as you adjust to college life and be sure to remember that you should enjoy, excel, and experience your higher education.
How to Adjust to College Academic Life posted by WJ Rosser at USCollegeRanking.org