A great blog post by our own college freshman with hints about ways to prepare for college that you might not have thought of.
Although many of our Bybee College Prep students are at the end of their high school careers, we thought that our tips shouldn’t end there. Here are a few ideas you may want to try out before starting college to help make the transition go a little smoother.
Go above and beyond – Many people are fearful of graduating from high school because they know the workload will be much greater in college. While the workload may be tougher in college, you can mitigate this gap by going above and beyond in high school. Don’t make the excuse that you don’t try now because the only classes that matter are in college. Your current habits will stick with you next year regardless of how much you believe they’ll magically change when you’re a freshman again. Especially if you aren’t used to taking majority honors or advanced placement courses, it’s a good idea to take any work or studying a teacher assigns and run with it. This will not only prove beneficial to your GPA, but it will also pay off when your English professor assigns a paper over the Grapes of Wrath and you’re contemplating procrastinating.
Start working – One of the most significant discrepancies between high school and college is that you have to do – and buy – more things on your own. Your parents most likely don’t want you moving states and funding your weekend excursions with their credit card. The best way to acclimate yourself to this level of independence is to get a job, however, it’s not just about having a job. When you begin racking up paychecks it’s important to claim responsibility for some of the bills you rack up as well. For example, if your parents currently pay for your car’s gas and insurance tell them that each month that will be your responsibility, not theirs. This is because when you have your own money, you have total control over how it’s spent (and hopefully saved). You also are more likely to pay attention to the prices of things you buy and be more conscious of things you need versus things you want. Starting this process before you graduate means you’ll have a better sense of independence and starting out on your own will be much less daunting.
Do your laundry – If you don’t plan on taking your mother and father to college, it’s probably a good idea to begin doing things on your own; you don’t want to do your laundry for the first time in college and end up shrinking your favorite pair of jeans. However, this idea extends further than having clean socks every week. Learning how to cook your own food, manage your own time, and handle your teachers/professors on your own will teach you about consequences and independence.
Branch out – A common stressor when entering your freshman year of college is having to make new friends, but we all tend to forget that everyone else is in the same boat. And if that isn’t comforting enough, start making friends with people at your new school through Facebook groups or talk to people at your high school that may be going to the same school. Getting to know just a couple of people can help ease the anxiety a tad before beginning this new chapter in your life.
Accept the fact that you don’t know it all- Your freshman year in college is a year of firsts, and that’s okay. Going into the next year thinking that it’s going to be an easy transition would be a mistake. Accept that you may not know everything about studying perfectly or about the best places to eat on campus or where your classes are or maybe even who you’re going to be living with. Rather than fighting the unknown do your best to embrace it, and you’ll have the most fun.