The moment you’ve been waiting for the last few years has finally come; you’ve graduated high school and you’re on your way to becoming a college student. Going away to school may seem like just a change of scenery, but living and studying at a university is a very different lifestyle than what you experience when you were living under your parents’ roof. In order to get the most out of the next four years, there are a few things you have to leave in the past, and a few new skills you’ll have to pick up on the way.
Disorganized Room, Notes, and Habits
With the new classes, environment, and new social life, there can be a massive amount of things to juggle. The first place to start organizing your life is the place you spend the most amount of time in: your dorm. Keeping a clean and organized area will not only keep your roommate off your back, but it will help keep your mind focused on the task at hand. Start by sorting all of your belongings, school supplies, and upcoming projects/tests with bins, planners, and wall calendars from shops that specialize in dorm stuff like OCM.
When it comes to taking notes in class, use separate notebooks for each class. If you don’t feel like hauling five or six different notebooks, use tabbed notebooks for your Monday-Wednesday-Friday classes and another for your Tuesday-Thursday classes.
Yes, these tasks may seem mundane but, in the long run, they’ll save you a world of grief. No scrambling to find your long-lost notes from Chemistry or scaring away your crush with piles of messes!
Shyness and Not Asking For Help
While high school teachers send home progress reports and keep a close eye on their students, professors do not have the time to constantly checkup on students. That being said, it’ll be your responsibility to speak up if you don’t understand an idea during a lecture or schedule office time to speak to an instructor. At the very least, the professor will give you information about tutors or review sessions.
You shouldn’t only rely on a professor or tutors to help you succeed, as joining study groups is an excellent way to stay on top of school and make new friends. Since college is about experiencing new things and finding yourself, you’ll have to put yourself out of your comfort zone to get the full experience.
Procrastination, Empty Days, and Cramming for Tests
As a high school student, you probably had massive amounts of downtime. Schooldays were filled with hours of busywork and daydreaming. Since the amount of hours you’ll physically be attending your college courseswon’t be nearly as long, it may seem like you have even more free time. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Projects will be more time consuming and your work will be held at a higher standard, so cutting corners is not an option.
If you were the type of student who could get good grades without studying, don’t even try that at your university. Just going to class and casually taking notes won’t be enough. With the new ideas and topics you’ll be learning, along with lecture styled classes, cramming for tests won’t work as well as it did in high school.
In order to fight off procrastination and keep your grades up, create a weekly schedule with homework, reading assignments, and study time. Not only will this help you academically, you’ll be able to create blocks of time solely dedicated to relaxing and meeting new friends. One program that helped me keep track of my time was Toggl.
Only Befriending your Immediate Clique
Most likely, your high school was much smaller than the college you’ll be attending; it might not be farfetched to assume that you picked your friends on the first day and stuck steadfast by their side until graduation. While this is very sweet and there is nothing wrong with loyalty, abandon this strategy when you come to college. There will be thousands of new individuals to interact with and, if you only become buddies with the people on your floor, you’re selling yourself short. Always be open to getting to know others, even if they seem somewhat different than you. Now is the time for self-discovery and exploring the interests of others might open up your perspectives.
College is one the most exciting time in a young person’s life, but with so much freedom comes a great deal of responsibility. In order to get the best experience possible, make sure you leave a few high school tendencies in the past as you go from high school senior to college freshman.