Are you going to college for the very first time? If so then you will understand what a nerve-racking experience it can be. You may feel as though you are not prepared for what lies ahead and that you are fearful of the future. This is completely normal, but if you follow the below tips then there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be able to make the most out of your experience.
Know your Counsellor
Your first step should always be to meet up with the high-school counselor in your area. They will be supporting you through the next few years and they may also ask you about the career goals and plans that you have as well. You should take note that your counselor will also help you to make some of the choices that you don’t feel confident doing yourself. Your career plans can easily change in the course of your study, so don’t always concentrate on a specific path. Your plans need to be fluid, especially in the early stages. If you try and do this then you should be able to come out on top.
Study your Degree Requirements
A lot of colleges will focus on most of the standard subjects, such as math, literature, science and even history. After this, the focus will then be shifted to more technical degrees that have a few more specific subjects. This does, of course, depend on the student goals that you have. If you know that you are going to need to take an English degree alongside your main subject, then make sure that you enquire about this to make sure that you are able to get a place properly. If you do this then there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to get everything in place.
Define the courses which you would like to take, and pass. You do need to keep in mind the specific degree that you want to pursue eventually. For example, you may want to pursue Science right now, and this is great, but if you know that you also need to have an English degree in order to become a Forensic Scientist then you will want to factor this into account. After all, you don’t just need to think about what you want to study now because you also need to think about what you would like to study in the future as well.
Colleges really do value those who partake in extracurricular activities. It’s important that you find an activity that suits you. One option would be for you to try and apply for any pre-college programs. The more extracurricular activities you can partake in now, the better. The main reason for this is because if you haven’t got a confirmed place right now, then it may help to tip things in your favor. If you are not entirely sure which activities you should enroll in, then remember that it’s not all about doing something that looks good on paper, it’s also about doing something that you love as well, so it’s important that you keep this in mind.
This really is an optional step, but it can be very helpful if you are able to get an opportunity like this. Internships give you a glimpse into a career path and they can also help you to decide on your own professional future. When you walk away from your internship, you will be able to get a much better idea of where you stand in terms of your career and you will also be able to find out more about which college programs you’d like to apply for as well. Another great benefit of an internship is that you can also use it to try and get into the chosen job field you want. After all, an employer is far more likely to hire someone who is not only qualified but who also has experience in the industry.
Practice Note Taking
A lot of people underestimate how many notes they have to take when they go to college. When you go to college and attend a lecture, you may find that the number of people who are in attendance is four times higher than what you are used to in high school. For this reason, it’s wise for you to try and adjust your listening skills as well as your note-taking skills. The professor will talk very quickly, and they are not likely to repeat things either. A lot of students like to use their mobile phones to record the lecture and then transcribe it later. There are a few problems with this. One of them is that activities like this can drain your smartphone battery and you may even find that you spend hours transcribing afterward. Being able to take notes when you are actually attending your lecture is very useful indeed.
Take out a Loan
If you haven’t done so yet, then you need to try and take out a loan. So many students leave their loan until the last minute but if you do this then you may find that you end up compromising your chances of actually attending college. Finances should always be a priority so you have to make sure that you do everything you can to keep yours in order. If you need help with this then your guidance counselor should be able to help you out with your student loans.
Develop Writing Skills
Term papers can actually teach you how to use your research tools, and how to do research in general. If you are able to write and research at a very high level, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t get every assignment graded at the highest level. A lot of people struggle in college because they know their stuff when it comes to the subject matter, but they do not fully know how to put it into words. If you can practice your writing skills now, then this will really work in your favor.
Think about it, how are you using your time? It’s important that you try and dedicate specific amounts of time so that you can study properly. This might be half an hour or so. When you have done this for a while, you may find that you can increase it to an hour, and then to an hour and a half. Either way, you need to start out with short bursts so that you don’t lose your focus. If you don’t think that you have time in your schedule to study then you need to try and make sure that you do everything you can to set an allotted amount of time to one side, every day. This will help you to keep track of when you should be studying, and the activities that are getting in the way.
Believe it or not, you might need to speak up in class. This is not something that a lot of people enjoy, or are comfortable with. If you want to help yourself here, then try and write down some of the questions that you have throughout the lesson. You can then raise your hand at the end of the class so that you can slowly overcome your reluctance to speak.
Preparing for college also involves researching the college requirements and also the prerequisites. If you know that the college is far away, then now is the time for you to try and plan out your residential needs. Are you going to rent an apartment with your friends? If so, how much is this going to cost? How are you going to manage the bills? Are you going to have a shared bank account? Little things like this really do matter so you need to try and plan out everything you can in advance. Learning materials will also cost you. In high school, you may find that books are provided to you in an attempt to help you with your tuition. In college, however, you will be responsible for sourcing your own books and you will also need to make sure that you get them on time as well. If you want to save yourself money then it is a good idea for you to try and purchase books from those who are above you in class or even searching through charity shops to see if you can get a good deal.
Preparing for Tests
A lot of high schools will require you to take some kind of test when you are in your senior year. It’s important that you try and prepare as much as you can for tests such as this because if you don’t then you may find that you end up compromising your future. If you want to help yourself here then make sure that you always do everything you can to take every test seriously and that you also try to focus on your study over the other distractions you have in your life.