College. That is a word that terrifies high school students and parents alike. I know this is one of the few things my entire family has agreed on. Coming from a small school district I was involved in almost every organization my school had to offer. Each title, play, contest or game gave me a little more experience and confidence. I can definitely say I was enjoying my time as a high school student and I definitely wasn’t ready for what graduation had in store for me. Every person who has ever been to college tried to tell me that the transition to college was going to be the greatest experience of my life. I would always dismiss their comments and advice because I had the mindset that nothing was going to ever be as great as my past 13 years as a Bedford Bulldog.
Looking back on my senior year, I wish I would have listened to their reassurances and tips. Much of what they told me would have come in handy early during my freshman year. Since I didn’t listen, I had to experience it all for myself. I learned many things over the course of my first semester as a college student. There are 4 tips that I wish I would have known before coming to college.
- Create study habits before the first test!
This may be a trivial point, but I was one of those students in high school that never studied. I got good grades, but I never opened a book to study for a test. That was definitely not the best habit to get into. Tests and classes are much more difficult than they ever were and the professors do not seem to care that you were out all night watching the basketball game. They expect homework to get done. The only person making sure you do it is you.
- Get involved.
By getting involved on campus you are given the chance to find your niche and that group of close friends that will help you on your path towards your degree. Don’t be afraid to step out there and try something new. How are you going to know if you like or dislike an activity if you don’t try it?
- Get organized.
High school was structured and organized. You went to class from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. then you had various practices until about 9 in the evening. You knew where you were going to be and what you were going to be doing for that time every day. Your wakeup time every day was the same and you basically went to bed at the same time every night. That fairytale doesn’t happen in college. You may have an 8:30 a.m. class three days a week, but you have a 2:30 p.m. class the other two days. Along with classes you might have meetings or other club activities. It takes a lot to ensure you get everything complete and you arrive on time. I would recommend attempting to write everything down in a weekly planner or putting everything into a Google Calendar.
P.S. Don’t forget to schedule study hours!
- Don’t be afraid to call your parents.
Leaving home might seem like a very adult thing to do, but you will never forget where your home is. Whether home is 30 minutes away or 30 hours away, don’t be afraid to call with important information or just to talk. I guarantee it will help with the homesickness.