Making A Transition to College? Here’s What You Need to Know!

College life is the most memorable time of every student’s life. You meet so many people, participate in college fests, and go on college trips with your pals. Countless things make college time unforgettable. However, the transition from school to college can also be terrifying for some people, thus making it essential to overcome the challenges and problems faced by students. Although the best time in one’s life is undoubtedly the time spent in college, there are certain things adults should equip high school students to know better about college before moving there.

Is Transitioning To College Difficult Than You Expect?

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At times college experiences can be ugly yet, they can teach you lessons that will stay with you for a lifetime. And because college life is one of the most formative years of our life, transitioning to this phase can be unsettling for multiple reasons.

1. The Course Pattern Differ

Every year, millions of students graduate from schools with flying colors.

In addition, statistics claim that 3.7 million high school students are expected to graduate during 2020-2021.

Many young aspirants are busy looking to enter the college that best suits their needs and goals. It is not typical for students to apply for their preferred courses and college, both online or offline.

In the meantime, the course patterns are a significant factor determining the ease of college transition for a student.

While college life is similar, if not the same, around the globe, the pattern of evaluation may, however, differ from country to country as per the rules and regulations prescribed by the university or the government.

For someone wanting to pursue graduation from abroad, the difference in course curriculum can make the transitioning process troublesome.

2. Unrealistic Portrayal Of College Life

We bet there’s not a single soul who never thought of enjoying college life the way it was shown in TV series and movies.

Unfortunately, the movies and media have built up a different picture in the minds of these kids. They portray that colleges are all about music, dance, and enjoyment. They build up extremely high and contrast expectations in the minds of students.

However, in reality, the picture of moving to college is entirely different.

Just within a week in college, students realize that it is nothing like the movies. Even though they are excited, many students find it extremely difficult to transition from school to college.

The first few days can be challenging as you may feel lost among strangers after spending almost ten years of your life surrounded by the same people (teachers and friends).

3. Feeling Of Homesickness

Feeling of homesickness is more than ordinary among new college students, especially those who left their hometown to pursue study.

Research data suggests that almost 70% of university students feel homesick, and freshers who were homesick are more likely to develop problems adjusting to college.

Once you move out of the hometown to complete your education, it’s incredibly natural to miss your old friends, family, or even the home-cooked meals your mom used to prepare for you.

Honestly, the feeling of leaving the nest can seem exciting but also make you uncomfortable. Don’t worry! We are here to make the transition to college more comfortable for you. Here is everything that you need to know before going to college.

10 Ways To Make Your College Transition Easier

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1. New People, New Experiences

College life means meeting and networking with new people. And as dreadful as it can be, meeting people with different experiences is essential to growing personally.

Sometimes the college that you wish to join may be located in another town. For that, you may have to move to a new city. You may even have to live in a dorm or rent a house.

Thus, you may be far from your family and at such time, prepare yourself as well as your parents in advance.

Moving to college doesn’t mean a luxurious life as you may stay in a tiny room and share it with a stranger. It is ok if you and your roommate are not the best of friends. But don’t become enemies.

Also, keep an eye out on your things and keep your valuables safe and locked always. Carry limited cash with you if you have a fear of losing it. You have to spend time with your roommate, so make it a point to get to know them.

They may teach you many things. Speak to them about their likes, dislikes, interests, family, etc. Create some rules with regards to your house. You can make your transition to college fun and memorable with their help.

2. Academics Is Not Everything

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Education and marks are important, but a college degree is not the only deciding factor of how successful you’ll be in life.

If you have the mindset to study all day and not network with others, eliminate that thought already from your mind!

Tuition classes make you memorize the subject without understanding it. Sure, you will earn the highest score, but what have you gained? Academics is not the only thing you have to focus on.

College is the time to explore new opportunities that will serve you well after graduation.

You have to focus on improving your life skills, learn work experiences, participate in various co-curricular activities, pursue your hobby, and let yourself a bit loose.

If you are drowned in your books the whole time, you will miss out on the college experience. So remember to make your transition to college fun.

3. Get Organized And Structure Your College Day

Organizing yourself along with the college schedule is essential. Colleges may run throughout the day. However, your timings may differ as per your subjects or the courses that you wish to pursue. So, you may not be entitled to attend every course or subject.

Typically, a lecture may be up to 45 minutes to 1 hour, sometimes even more. In times like that, you can spend time in the college cafe or library if you wish to skip the lectures you are not enrolled for.

Don’t forget to join WhatsApp groups, as it makes it extremely easy to know what was taught in the class. Moreover, you can enter and leave anytime as per your lecture timings.

4. Consider Attendance Before College Transition

The rules in college differ from the regulations in schools, which is a crucial point to keep in mind before moving to college.

When in school, attendance played an essential part in your academics as well as scores. In fact, missing one day at school would mean losing important notes and assignments, and explanations.

However, attendance in college is not as strict in comparison to school. You can skip the lectures even if you are present at the college premises.

Some colleges may ask students to maintain a minimum attendance record like 60% appearance in a term. Ensure you read the college prospectus or brochure correctly (especially the rules regarding attendance) before submitting your applications.

5. Different Exam Patterns

Another vital thing to consider before going to college is the exam pattern. Unfortunately, the exam patterns also differ in colleges.

Schools follow a continuous and comprehensive evaluation pattern followed by unit tests and term examinations during the year.

If you clear all the exams, will you be permitted to move to the next grade?

On the other hand, the pattern slightly differs in college. In college, most of the marks are assigned for research work, presentations, or projects.

Written exams are conducted only twice a year (may differ in different colleges). If you fail, you will be allowed to keep terms and move to the next grade.

However, you won’t receive your final graduation certificate until you clear all your papers.

6. Learn A New Skill

College time is all about learning and standing out in the crowd. Knowing a new skill gives you an edge over other peers as the possibility of acquiring better job opportunities increases for students having hands-on practical experiences.

Did you know 73.2% of hiring managers want their candidates to be well versed in their communication skills?

For students who suspect having poor communication skills, college time can be a great space to polish their communication skills.

In fact, both big tech giants and small innovation startups or employers are looking to hire new graduates who display the following qualities:

  • Self-driven
  • Innovative thinkers
  • Problem solvers
  • Risk takers
  • Loves technology
  • Wants a challenging workplace
  • Growth-oriented
  • Holds a fresh perspective

7. Start Your Mini Freelancing Business

You’d be surprised to know that so many people started their freelancing business in college and became exceptionally successful at it.

In fact, one statistic shows that 32% of US freelancers hold a bachelor’s degree.

So if you find college life transition harsh, instead of dwelling on it, you can channel the same energy into something that will yield good results and add value. Perhaps join a college club to enhance your public speaking skills.

Simultaneously, you can also begin your freelance journey and earn money from it. Some in-demand skills every business owner looks for are:

  • Social Media Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Graphic Designing
  • Virtual Assistant Services

In a nutshell, identify what skills you have and then leverage that to help businesses and people from different industries.

8. Time Management For Better College Transition

With never-ending college exams and assignments, the art of managing your time as a new college student should be your top priority.

This is a life skill that every student should know, whether in elementary, high school, or college. In addition, time management is an extremely critical skill that helps you beyond college life.

According to a report by New York University, 6 in 10 college students report feeling stressed, ultimately hindering their work on one or more occasions.

Hence, when you know how to manage your time tactfully, it saves you from uncalled stress, which you could have avoided.

9. Build Healthy Habits

As new college students, you tend to overlook your health which can be detrimental in the long run. More than that, if you don’t keep yourself healthy, it can cause trouble in your daily schedule.

You won’t feel energetic, which may lead you not to submit assignments within the given deadline or not study well enough for exams. To avoid that from happening, keep checking your health to stay healthy during the exam season.

Avoid eating out and instead plan a weekly healthy student-friendly meal plan for yourself.

10. Healthy Sleep Pattern

According to research published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, up to 60% of college students experience poor sleep patterns, and 7.7% struggle with insomnia disorder.

This is because most of them sleep late and wake up for classes before they obtained the necessary sleep requirement.

However, having a properly structured schedule and saying no to things like Netflix, parties, late work can help one gain the optimum hours of sleep.

Concluding Thoughts,

College is like the stepping stone for your career. While the transition to college can seem huge, don’t be afraid to fail or ask for help in times of need.

Make sure you make an informed decision regarding where you wish to join. The most important thing to know before going to college is to manage your time correctly.

Do what you enjoy the best and not just because someone is forcing you to pursue it. Avoid the wrong company at all times. Be responsible for yourself, your actions, and your own choices. Be smart and alert at all times.

And lastly, but most importantly, always return someone’s favor. Don’t take advantage of someone or be a freebie.

Key Takeaways On Transition To College

  • Transition to college from high school can be challenging for many people
  • There could be several reasons behind finding college transition difficult for a newcomer.
  • For instance, the difference in course pattern is a significant factor in determining the ease of college transition.
  • On the other hand, unrealistic portrayals of college life in movies and television have painted a false picture in the minds of new college students.
  • On top of that, data also suggests homesickness as a plausible reason students feel uncomfortable with college life.
  • This is why life skills play an important role in high school students.
  • Keep in mind that college is equivalent to meeting new people and gaining new experiences. The phase can become tolerable to you.
  • Similarly, it’s also imperative to know that college life is more than academics and spending your days inside the books.
  • Whenever you take admission to the college, don’t forget to consider the attendance rules and exam patterns.
  • Lastly, learn a new skill and start a small freelancing business in college. This will keep your mind occupied.
  • Before you go, here are the things I wish I knew in college.

What are the tips for new college students?

  • Attend your classes regularly.
  • Study enough to score a good GPA.
  • Make friends from other departments and seniors.
  • Instead of buying books, rent them from the college library.
  • Don’t miss out on fun college events or trips.
  • Volunteer with different clubs.
  • Start an internship program as soon as possible.
  • Don’t be afraid to fail and learn from it.

What are the things one should know before moving to college? 

  • Attendance rules.
  • Exam pattern.
  • Expenses you’d need to incur for living in a dorm.
  • Visa and passport for international students.
  • Preparing important documents like high school certificates and college forms for admission.

What are the top life skills for high school students?

  • Money Management.
  • Time Management.
  • Making informed decisions.
  • Communication skills.
  • Doing basic household chores.

Did you enjoy moving to college? Do you have more tips for a smooth college transition? Then, do share them in the comments section and help other young aspirants.

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Felicia Nazareth
Felicia Nazareth is a full-time teacher and a writer with a keen interest in lifestyle and music. Watching her favorite sitcom 'Friends', and singing are the hobbies that she enjoys the most. Not to mention, she also loves writing and expressing her thoughts to the world around her.

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