I’m thrilled to say that so many of my students have received their acceptances for college this Fall! While my role in helping them get into their ideal college may be at an end, I can’t help but want to send them off with some tips that will help them make an easy transition into college, and have a great college freshman year.
Aside from the obvious advice (go to classes, study hard, eat healthfully, and sleep well), there are a few more bits of advice that I recommend to all new college students:
Know Thy Professors
I talk to college professors often and almost invariably they tell me that they wish they knew their students better. From a student perspective, getting to know your professor early in the year can be a big boost if you run into difficulties with course material or scheduling of projects later in the year. Not to mention, you’re building the foundation for a successful mentoring relationship if you find that your professor teaches exactly the subject you’re most interested in! Take the time to introduce yourself to your professor after one of your first few classes, perhaps ask them a question or two related to the material, and then be sure to say hi to them when you see them around campus.
Build Your Study Buddy Network
The course load in college far exceeds anything you may have experienced in high school, and most freshman have a moment of freaking out when they read over their course syllabus and realize just how much work they’ll have to do in addition to class time. One way to ensure that you’re not going to miss anything important is to build a network of study buddies in the same classes as you. After about a month of classes, you should be able to see which students make good study partners – they’ll show up to every lecture, take copious notes, sit toward the front of the hall, and ask pertinent questions. Approach one or two of these people in each of your classes and simply ask if you can exchange contact information in case you miss a class and would like to have a copy of course notes, and vice versa. Having that safety net in case of illness or missing an important deadline will come in handy, and it’s an easy way to start getting to know new friends on campus.
Schedule Study Time
This may sound like a no-brainer, but the freedom of being able to set your own schedule, combined with the multiple social distractions of college, has been the downfall of many a former-A+ high school student. The simplest way to ensure that you don’t fall behind is to schedule blocks of study time around your class schedule each week, write it down and stick to it. You may want to program your smart phone to remind you when you’re scheduled to study. The schedule should be flexible enough to account for last minute events, so consider scheduling a “backup” study period every week that you can use if you miss one of the regular study periods.
Author: Rhonda Manns, A2Z College Planning