College can be a big life adjustment for first-year students — full of new experiences and challenges. It’s vital that you set yourself up for success to prevent struggling in college. While everyone’s experience is different, there are some things that you should and shouldn’t do.
Below, we offer some tips to help you start your college journey.
1. Don’t underestimate the transition from high school to college.
While your junior and senior years of high school are meant to prepare you for college, the experiences are very different. High school courses tend to focus on memorization and repetition, with teachers typically offering several ways to get grades up — from homework to extra credit.
But with college, the focus isn’t placed so heavily on homework as in high school. Professors tend to put a heavy emphasis on midterms and final exams, with homework and attendance only making up a fraction of the grade.
Transitioning to these classes can be difficult, but most universities offer free resources to help you adjust. These include guidance counseling and free tutoring.
2. Attend office hours with your professors.
Almost all professors in college set aside time outside of class for office hours and study sessions. Many students fail to take advantage of their professor’s time because they feel too shy or don’t think they need the extra assistance.
Regardless, office hours can be an excellent place to go if you’re struggling or need mentorship. Plus, it can also help you develop professional relationships with your instructors.
3. Wait to purchase your textbooks.
If you are eager to start your first college classes, you may think it’s best to purchase your books before the semester begins. But you could end up paying hundreds of dollars less if you wait. You can typically get cheaper textbooks through sites like SlugBooks.com or Amazon Rentals. You may also find older students on campus selling their books for popular first-year courses. And if you live on campus and your roommate is taking the same classes, save on costs and share the same textbook.
Another big reason you may want to wait is that you may not need it. Several professors say they require certain literature for a class, but the book doesn’t end up getting read for one reason or another.
4. Be willing to drop a class if it isn’t for you.
While it may seem taboo in college, you have the right to drop a class if it’s not for you. In fact, it’s better to drop a course if you’re struggling or it’s not a good fit to avoid getting a failing grade. It will also help you save time and energy — which you can devote to other things.
5. Keep an eye on how much you’re partying or socializing.
College is often associated with freedom and the chance to explore who you are as a person. While socializing is an essential aspect of the college experience, overdoing it could jeopardize not only your transition but also your coursework. Finding the balance of what you can handle is necessary during your first semester and helps ensure you maintain good grades while also having fun with friends.
Get in touch with Education Attainment Services.
If you’d like to learn more about how to get into your dream college, reach out to Educational Attainment Services. We help high school students prepare for applying to college and what it takes to get into the school they want. Schedule an appointment by calling 800-706-4134 or send a message using our contact form.
We look forward to working with you and helping you get into your dream college.