College life presents a number of new challenges for the high school graduate becoming a new college freshman. Not only will the student be living on their own for the first time, in most cases, but they are also responsible for managing their own time and finances. At the same time, college entrance is not always a step-by-step process and students must determine the steps they need to take as they go.
Students attending college should first have an understanding of exactly how high school and college are different. There are often several personal adjustments that students will need to make so that they will be successful in college. Time management is often one of the first areas that students will need to understand, as they are responsible for their own time management in college.
In high school, students see the same teachers each and every day and often have more contact with their teachers. In college, instructors and professors are often only available during office hours and by appointment or directly before and after class. Students may also only see these individuals one or two days per week depending on the class. While high school teachers pay close attention to whether students are keeping up with their class work,
college professors expect their students to take on that responsibility themselves. Professors simply have too many students to keep up with to track each student’s assignments. These are just a few differences between high school and college, but they all relate back to the student being prepared to handle his or her own time and work on their own.
Before being set loose in a dorm on campus, parents also need to take steps to prepare their student for college. While in college, students have much more freedom, but they also need to be able to handle this freedom. When students live on their own for the first time, they are often tempted to spend more time doing the fun things they want rather than the work they need to be doing.
Too much fun can quickly lead to poor grades and not attending class. At the same time, it can lead to too much money being spent frivolously. Students need to have a set budget and should learn how to manage their money long before they are allowed to have a credit card and checking account while in college.
Finally, the level of academics in high school and college are drastically different. A large difference in high school and college academics is that there are fewer assignments in college, so each grade a student receives in a class counts for a substantial part of their overall grade.
College exams are also significant portions of their grades as well. Because of this, students need to have a schedule that will allow them time to study as well as have fun.
When entering college, it is vitally important that students set themselves up for success. If a student is not a morning person, then they are not likely to retain much information from an early morning class.
Attending each and every class is important, but it will do them no good if they are not able to learn at that time of day. A schedule that fits the student will set that student up for good grades and success in college. Finally, students should plan on doing the bulk of their work outside of class rather than during class.
Finally, students should take advantage of any support services offered by the college if they find themselves having difficulty. Colleges offer free tutoring and study groups for students who need additional help. There are a variety of resources available through the college that is available at the student’s disposal.