High school graduation has come and gone. You’ve stored away your high school graduation cap and gown, placed your diploma in a safe diploma cover, and now can begin to look ahead to a new chapter in your life. With the new school year rapidly approaching, we thought it would be a great idea to take a look at some tips for first-year college students. We know you’ve had twelve long years to hone your academic skills; however, college can be an entirely different beast than high school.
How to Prepare Yourself for the College Workload
By now, you must have heard many warnings that the college workload is more challenging than high school. While the workload will be heavier than high school and more difficult at times, the main difference comes down to time management.
For many students, college is the first time without a heavily structured schedule. Syllabuses are given, outlining due dates and grading rubrics. College professors, however, have a large number of students and will not be there to remind you regularly. Classes may not meet daily and might be too large for this type of one-on-one communication. It is up to you to stick to a schedule and stay prepared.
Additionally, for some, this may be the first time you will be living away from home. The temptations of hanging out and college parties will be there. Keeping a balance between school work and social life is vital in succeeding during your first year.
Try to keep set hours to spend on schoolwork after or between classes. Many college assignments revolve around readings and may not have additional assignments or pop quizzes to ensure students complete them. College professors expect you to be responsible enough to complete these on your own. While there may not be a pop quiz the next day, you can be sure these readings will be vital to your midterm and final exams.
Preparing Yourself for College Social Life
Your primary goal at college is to receive an education to help you in your future career. While this is, of course, the main reason for attending, it is safe to assume that you are also greatly looking forward to the freedoms and social aspects.
College is a great opportunity to try new things and meet new people. You may be attending a college with some friends from home, but looking into sports groups, clubs, and Greek life can be a great way to make friends that will last a lifetime. Colleges offer a variety of different clubs and organizations that group similarly interested people together. Even if you’re going into a school without knowing anybody, there are ample opportunities to meet people. Be open to new opportunities and consider exploring interests you haven’t in the past, like joining an intramural team for a sport you’ve never played or learning an instrument you’ve always wanted to play.
Make the Most Of Your First Year
Midterm and finals week may feel like an eternity, but college, in general, goes by far too quickly. Before you know it, you’ll be draped in a graduation gown, stole, and cap, and maybe even earned some honor cords! Make sure to make the most out of your college experience, so you can walk across that graduation stage with no regrets.