9 Essentials for Going From High School All-Stardom to College Success

  1. Do-It-Yourself

    Your parents aren’t here. In college, you will be responsible for managing your own schedule, getting to your classes, eating well and not living with a carpet of dirty clothes on the floor. Independent self-care is a lot to manage, but if you make an effort to keep the basics covered, it is a functionality that pays dividends into adulthood.

  2. Work Hard

    Liberal arts courses require chapters and chapters of almost daily reading. Mathematics and science classes may not assign homework packets or check for completion. So it’s up to you to keep up and make sure you understand concepts. Skimming books or skipping practice problems makes today easy, but it sets you up for headaches at mid-terms and finals.

  3. Ask For Help

    If you are staying on top of your work, you will notice if part of the material isn’t clicking. Check your professor’s office hours, stop by their office or visit the teaching assistants right away, before the situation is dire.

  4. Talk to Your Professors

    As experts in their field, you have a gift of access to professionals immersed in research or the knowledge of every discipline. They are people with interests, backgrounds, and feelings, who can also open doors. So say “Hi.”

  5. Try Things

    College offers an opportunity to try activities, join groups or volunteer with various causes, people and walks of life. Follow your passions and interests to a robotics club, a mountain rescue group, or an international relations committee. Exposure to actual fields of interest gives you the chance to sample potential career paths while also giving you experience.

  6. Consider a Campus Job

     If you need to contribute to your tuition or just want some pocket change, consider an on-campus or work-study job. On-campus positions are often more understanding of your schedule, especially when finals come up. You’re also likely be surrounded by other students, building community, while learning more about various aspects of campus management or administration.

  7. Don’t Brag

    In high school, high-achieving students tend to compare grades, asking each other about test scores and semester marks. This is less common in college and quietly frowned upon. Instead, strive for your personal best and encounter your peers as equals rather than competitors in a one-upmanship contest.

  8. Enjoy Yourself, and be Safe

    Many a student has gotten lost in the college party atmosphere. Don’t be afraid to be social, but beware of the dangers of excessive partying. Keep your school work a priority: do it first or schedule adequate time to complete it. When you’re out, be safe. Set your own boundaries, and leave uncomfortable situations.

  9. Do Learn

    At the end of the day, learn! Delve into math, engineering, political theory or literature. Attending a university is a uniquely low-pressure time. Enjoy the feast of academics, build your understanding and connect pieces of knowledge across disciplines; it’s a skill that will crack open the challenges of life to you like an oyster revealing pearls of wisdom.

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