4 Things to Know During the Transition from High School to College

Written by: Mualla Icel, Freshman at Saint Louis University, FLI Program Participant

(This content has been edited for clarity and grammar)
  1. Mastering Time Management Skills:

    In the transition from high school to college, one of the skills you need to master is time management skills. With scheduling classes each semester, knowing which times to register for classes, whether that is morning classes or evening classes. In addition to class scheduling, knowing how to balance each day’s, week’s, month’s responsibilities, and priorities.

    For example: Knowing when to have time for leisure, when to have time to do homework and other academic responsibilities. Throughout high school, class schedules are fixated, and there is no rearranging. Especially if you are a freshman living in dorms the first semester of college, learning how to also balance time for self care (to avoid burnout), time to eat between classes/homework, and also time to engage with the college community/ fellow peers. 
  2. Being aware of school/campus resources:

    It’s always important to remember that it is perfectly normal to ask/seek help for both academic and mental health resources. Most freshmans in college experience mental health problems, depression, anxiety, and academic struggles. Most colleges have centers for student success with staff that can help with mental health problems and any academic struggles. Also important to note that it’s totally normal to seek help from others, and remember that you are never alone. 
  3. Be confident in the person that you are:

    In college you will be in new environments and communities meeting new people. Confidence is key in presenting yourself to big groups and one on one meetings. Networking and communicating are important skills to adapt to during the transition from high school to college. In high school, most of the networking resources, and community are already provided to the students. In college, everyone does their own networking and outreaching. Alongside confidence, being assertive is also very important.
  4. Have set study skills that work:

    Studying in college is not the same thing as studying for classes in high school. College classes require a lot more studying and reviewing time than high school classes. This is because college exams tend to be harder and more cumulative based than tests in high school. It’s very rare for people to pass exams without studying for it. In addition most of the time merit based scholarships require students to maintain certain minimums of GPA. In some instances the study habits you have had throughout high school might not even be enough, and you might need new study strategies to be successful.

    Having a group of friends that are the same major/field as you is a big advantage when it comes to studying. Group studying is very beneficial and also great to create social habits. Along with study habits, attending class/lectures, taking good comprehensive notes, and keeping track of assignment deadlines are also important skills to adapt to in this transition. Assignment scheduling is very different in college, where remembering deadlines and due dates is dependent solely on the individual student. Professors won’t be reminding students on deadlines, exam dates, etc, like teachers in high school would. 

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