Moving from high school to college can be a big transition for students. If you're stressing over this new life chapter, there are ways you can prepare before even stepping foot in a classroom or dorm.
From researching academic support to developing strong technical skills, the following tips can help incoming freshmen get organized and build a foundation for college success.
2. Read as Much as Possible
College course work consists of substantially more reading than is required in high school. Students should start getting used to the increased workload by reading books during high school and the summer before college.
Becoming comfortable with technology is an essential part of college readiness, as it will help you complete projects and daily homework assignments.
From being able type quickly and accurately to knowing how to navigate online research, students should spend time before college sharpening their technical aptitude and learning about new tools.
4. Polish Your Social, People and Soft Skills
College pushes students to develop strong communication skills. From group projects to communicating with professors and employers, an ability to convey ideas clearly and work collaboratively will serve students well.
In addition, leadership and problem-solving skills will be important qualities when it comes time to apply for jobs and internships during school and after graduation.
5. Embrace Time-Management Tools
Balancing the academic and social demands of college can be a challenge for even the most diligent student. But there are plenty of digital tools designed for students, and a little organization can go a long way in making sure students use time wisely.
Smartphone apps can help
keep study schedules on track and provide a visual of free time and responsibilities.
6. Weigh Getting a Job Freshman Year
College is expensive, and costs go beyond tuition and fees. Day-to-day expenses like eating out, commuting and weekend entertainment make up a significant chunk of a student's college budget. A part-time job can alleviate budget strains, but also take time away from classes.
Whether walking back from a late-night class or from an evening out with friends, it's important for students to feel safe at college. Practice common sense, such as being aware of your surroundings, and learn how your college handles safety issues.
Both parents and students should take time before the semester begins to become familiar with the campus' safety resources and procedures.
and mature in all communications you have with professors and other academic staff.
9. Make the Most of Orientation Activities
Orientation is a great way for students to make friends and get acclimated. Ask plenty of questions and try to be as outgoing as possible. Realize that everyone is trying to make friends and adjust to a new environment.
After orientation, many schools offer unique first-year experiences that help students further connect with their classmates and college community.
10. Research Ways to Get Involved
College provides a number of opportunities for students to explore existing interests or embark on new hobbies. Whether it's playing sports, joining a musical ensemble or getting involved in social issues, many schools make it easy to get involved.
Having a plan of action before arriving will help students select meaningful activities and help ensure they don't miss any important sign-up dates or meetings once school starts.
11. Know Where to Go for Academic Help
Many colleges have offices dedicated to helping students brainstorm and write essays. If you're having difficulty in a class, or just want to speak with a professor one-on-one, take advantage of open office hours. School libraries also tend to house a number of staff and study resources.