Nailing Your College Transition

Congratulations! You have graduated from high school and will start attending college in the Fall. Before you begin taking courses at your dream university, we want to provide you with five helpful tips to make your college transition smooth and easy. 

  1. Develop your time management skills 

In college, nobody will be reminding you when you have class or when an assignment is due. That is why it’s important to own and update a planner that includes your class schedule, assignments, tests, and other responsibilities. Plan on scheduling at least 2-3 hours of study time for each hour of regular class.  You also want to keep track of when you will be having midterm/final exams so that you can have adequate time to study beforehand. Please keep in mind that a midterm/final exam can be worth up to 40% of your final grade for a course. If you need further support with developing your time management skills you can take advantage of academic coaches and peer mentorship programs on your college campus. 

  1. Get involved 

Your college transition will be much easier once you start attending events on campus and making new friends. Joining clubs, participating in sports, and participating in educational enrichment programs are all great ways to explore your interests and develop your professional skills while meeting others students with similar interests. If you find a group where you fit in, you’ll have a great support system to help you when college life gets challenging. You might find your group of friends at an intramural soccer game, at a cultural center on campus, or in your dorm. 

  1. Ask for Help 

One of the first things you should do when stepping foot on campus is familiarizing yourself with the different student resources available. The truth is that college courses are more rigorous than high school courses and require more study time and preparation. If you find yourself experiencing academic challenges, we recommend taking advantage of free tutoring on campus and attending office hours. We also recommend that you connect with your academic advisor who can provide you with additional resources, on and off-campus, to help when personal challenges may get in the way of your academic performance. Some challenges that can interfere with academic success include food insecurity, lack of belonging, and mental health issues. Remember that you are not alone and that the resources are there to help you. 

  1. Prioritize your mental and physical wellness 

When you make your physical and mental health your number one priority, achieving academic success becomes much easier. You want to make sure that you have a balanced diet and are eating throughout the day to keep your energy up. We recommend investing in a plastic water bottle that you can fill up on campus and carrying snacks in your backpack. You also want to get in the habit of going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day and sleeping 7-8 hours a day. You may feel tempted to study all night but you will have a far better chance of storing information into your long-term memory if you space out your study sessions. If you ever feel like you can’t focus during a study session, you might benefit from taking a 30-50 minute study break to walk, run, or work out at the campus recreation center. 

  1. Remember your WHY

If you ever feel like you don’t have what it takes to achieve academic success, or feel like your college accepted you by mistake, remember your WHY and reach out to the people that love you and believe in you. You are exactly where you deserve to be. 

Katie Craig

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