4 Big Tips to Prepare for College

A woman works on her laptop. Staying up-to-date with assignments is just one of many tips for college success. (Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels)

As the class of 2023 starts to prepare to move on to life post-high-school, there is always one question that people ask: What’s next? 

Many individuals choose to continue their education by attending college post-high school graduation, however, there are several other things that you can choose to pursue and take part in if college is not for you. 

As two high school seniors preparing for college, we are going to write about the preparation for opening a new chapter in life: college edition. 

Becoming Independent

Leaving home and saying goodbye to all you know can be very hard. Becoming independent is the first step you have to take when leaving for college. It is so important to get to know yourself before leaving. Understanding how you feel in certain situations and groups can save you a lot of stress when meeting new people. Bring things from home to make your new space feel like home. Pictures can be a great way to remember past times with family and friends while adjusting to being alone.  One of the most important things I have learned from having an older sister who’s already gone through the struggle of being away from home is not to go home. You are going to feel homesick. It is going to be a very hard transition: it’s so normal to second guess your choice and want to return to the comfort of your home. If you go home during the first semester from feeling homesick you will never be able to adjust. It will get easier with time. Try to push through. It will be worth the wait. 

Packing Guide

College often means moving and starting fresh. It can be hard to leave everything behind and be on your own. Here are some essentials you may not have thought to bring that will make the transition easier:

  1. Planner- this could be an agenda, whiteboard, etc. By writing down your classes, deadlines, and assignments, it will be easier to complete your tasks on time and ease stress.
  2. Noise Canceling Headphones- these are a necessity. College comes with less privacy, which can make it hard to study and focus. Throwing on some noise-canceling headphones in the library, dorm, or cafe will help tune out the world so you can focus.
  3. Bedding- this one is obvious, but rather than saving money on cheap bedding, splurge on something nicer. College students spend a lot of time in their dorms, and having comfy bedding makes all the difference. Having a comfy space to relax and do your work in will make being away from home much easier.
  4. Hand Sanitizer- College is home to germs. Living in a close-corridors with hundreds of students means a higher risk of getting sick. Stock up on the hand sanitizer and keep those germs away. 

Getting Involved

One of the best ways to make friends and experience new opportunities is by getting involved within your school. Almost every college has numerous clubs or programs you can choose to participate in. One of the biggest groups to be involved in are sororities and fraternities. Put simply they are a society or club created for college students to join with the intention of having lifelong friendships. Known as a “sisterhood” or “brotherhood”. If this is not for you there are a handful of other options to choose between. You can meet people with the same interests as you while participating in something you enjoy. Along with meeting new people being involved can help you boost your resume for future career opportunities. Stepping out of your comfort zone can help build your social skills, and give you several chances to work with diverse groups of people.

Study Tips

College is much more rigorous than high school, and oftentimes people get burned out. To prevent burnout and ensure you keep up with your classes, it’s important to have some study tips under your belt.

  1. Make a study schedule- using the planner mentioned earlier, create a schedule that blocks out time to study for each class. Read over assignments, review concepts, or study for an upcoming exam.
  2. Take notes- this may seem obvious, but college classes are much different than high school. Classes are often bigger, and many of the lessons consist of professors lecturing. Listen carefully and jot down as much information as you can.
  3. Join a Study Group- this can help you stick with your study schedule. By studying with peers, you can review concepts you may have been struggling with, as well as learn any material you may have missed.
  4. Plan ahead for exams- studying the day before may have worked in high school, but it won’t in college. Break down the material that will be covered on the exam into sections to avoid getting overwhelmed. Practice different studying techniques in advance so you’ll be prepared on exam day.

College can be overwhelming and intimidating, but with the right preparation, it can be an exhilarating experience. It doesn’t have to be stressful, so take the time to set yourself up on the right path by following these tips.