Transitioning From High School To College

Transitioning from high school to college can be a stressful time.  It is a time of many changes, both academically and personally.  This may be the first time you will be living on your own, your first time away from family and friends, and maybe even your first time in classes that challenge you. Here are some things you can do before college and once you get there, to help make transitioning from high school to college as smooth and stress-free as possible. 

Work on your time management skills

In college, you’ll be on your own much more.  There won’t be teachers checking in on you and reminding you of deadlines, or parents making sure you are doing your homework each night. So, a vital way to make transitioning from high school to college as smooth as possible is to work on time management skills before you get there.  Come up with a system of planning your week, making sure you leave enough time for preparing for class, studying, and social activities.  Use an app, Google calendar, or just a regular paper planner.  Whatever works for you that will help you stay on track!

Get a mentor

Whether it is a friend, someone who has attended the college you will be attending, or a guidance counselor, reach out to someone who has experience that you can draw from.  Someone you know has made the transition from high school to college and can tell you what worked for them and what didn’t.  Getting advice from people who have been there is invaluable in times of transition! 

Develop strong study strategies

Use the last few months of high school to help yourself prepare to handle the academic rigors of college.  Creating good study habits now can help your transition from high school to college be successful. Make sure to keep up on all your reading and class preparation, and find methods of studying that work for your learning style or styles.  Taking a learning styles inventory quiz can give you tips on the best ways to study for your particular learning style.  When you know what study methods and strategies work best for you, you will be better prepared for the transition from high school classes to college classes. 


Be open to developing new friendships

Once you get to college, you will be inundated with new people and new potential friends! The great thing is that they are all making the transition from high school to college too, so you automatically have things in common! While it can be hard to meet new people, especially after spending the last four years in high school with the same friends, use your college experience to make lifelong friendships with people who share your interests.  Join clubs, sign up for activities, and be involved on campus.  Developing a network of friends will help make the transition from high school to college a fun and exciting time. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Transitioning from high school to college is hard! You may feel like you are struggling emotionally or socially.  Most colleges and universities have counseling centers, where you can speak to a therapist or counselor to help you with the transition and any feelings you are having. Look into the resources available on your campus, and take advantage of them – you don’t need to struggle alone! 

In addition, you may be struggling academically. It’s important not to let yourself get overwhelmed to the point where you are not performing well in class.  Your college likely has an academic success center, where they offer services like tutoring and writing help. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed to use these services.  College is challenging and getting academic help is the smart thing to do! 

Have fun!

College will be a challenging time, but it will also be a fun and rewarding time!  Embrace the opportunity to be on your own, studying subjects that interest you and meeting new friends along the way. 

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