Note: This post contains affiliate links and I may be compensated if you click on them.
Are you fully prepared for entering college? Where are you going to go? What is going to be your major? Do you have everything under control and all of your paperwork ready to go?
There are so many things you must consider when preparing for college. By studying the information that follows, the work of choosing a school, a major, a way to pay, and strategies for success in the entire process will start to become clearer.
Careers and majors
You should not consider going to college unless you have a good idea of the kind of career you want or at least have a general idea. Meet with a career counselor to find out more about your different options and take the time to do some research about different schools and programs.
Know as much as you can about the career you’d like to get into before even applying for college. Find out which college has the classes you must take so you’re able to get a degree that gets you into the field of your choice. Check with the college‘s admissions director in order to verify they have the courses that you need to take.
If you are unsure about which major to choose, use your first two years of college to take a wide variety of courses in addition to your core courses. You may find yourself interested in things you might otherwise never have considered. An eclectic course of study gives you greater insight into possible career choices.
Consider living on campus even if you go to school close to home. Not only will you miss a lot of things going on, but you may miss out on your first opportunity to live on your own and make your own financial and social decisions. If you can possibly afford it, live in a dorm.
Visit the dorm before deciding to live there. You may discover that you don’t want to live in that environment. Not only that, but you may find that you prefer one dorm rather than another. Make sure you will get the choice you signed up for, and make sure you have a contingency plan in place if you chose a single room but end up in a quad.
If you find out that you cannot afford to go to the college you want to go to, consider the possibility of student loans. College has a number of financial rewards ultimately, so it is acceptable that you acquire a bit of debt to help with that.
Do not fall into the credit card company’s tricks where they give you a credit card. These cards have high interest rates, and they aim to prey on college students who have no money. There are many instances in which college student’s default on these cards because they understandably have no money to pay them back.
Make certain that you have your FAFSA submitted very early in the year. This is the financial aid that is automatically given by the government. The earlier you apply, the more certain you are to receive your benefits. Sometimes, the finances can run out, especially at smaller educational institutions. Be prepared!
Getting the most out of your classes
When you are planning your schedule, do your best to refrain from scheduling classes that are too early in the morning or too late at night. These classes can be very difficult, as you will often miss these classes due to the time. If you are the furthest thing from an early bird, you probably shouldn’t schedule an 8am class. Schedule classes back to back in the middle of the day.
Find a place to study that is conducive to your style of studying. If you can study while blocking out noise then your dorm room may be fine. But if you need privacy and quiet then find a quiet corner in one of the less popular areas of the library or a perhaps a peaceful and relaxing space outdoors.
If you are having trouble figuring out strategies for academic success, see if your college has a study skills course. A lot of students get high grades without trying very hard in high school so they need help figuring out how to effectively study to do well in college. These courses may help you learn how to pass your class.
If you are struggling with one or more of your college courses, seek tutoring help. Many college students think it costs a fortune to hire a tutor; the truth is that most college campuses provide their students with low-cost or free tutoring services. Speak with a financial counselor for more information.
If you can find someone who took the same class, offered by the same teacher, the semester before you, then ask them about the class. They can give you valuable insight on the teacher’s style of teaching, where the test questions come from, what type of tests there are and many other helpful hints to put you on the right track.
When you are assigned a paper to write, be sure to allow yourself plenty of time. You do not want to have to rush through it. Turning it in on time is just as important as the content in it. Start planning as soon as you are given the assignment.
Make the effort to get to know each of your instructors. Use office hours to visit each instructor at least once during the term. If the instructor is teaching a class in your major or intended major, spend more time in office hours. When you need a letter of recommendation, it will be easier if your instructors know you.
Read the course syllabus first thing. The syllabus will tell you when your instructor is available to answer questions and provide extra help. You will quickly see what will be expected of you in the course. The syllabus tells you what your instructor wants you to learn, and thus how to prepare for tests.
When you are about to take a big exam, make sure you eat an adequate breakfast but keep it a little light. Don’t go into a test hungry, or you’ll have a lot of trouble concentrating. Do not overeat either; however, so you don’t have to deal with an upset stomach.
Gather all the materials you need for a test before the testing time. Not doing so can make you face a rather difficult disadvantage. A lot of instructors do not have extra supplies, so you should not forget to bring what you need for the test.
College is an experience that you will take with you throughout your life. This is a time in which you explore all of your options and continue to learn more about who you are as a person. Even though the college experience can be stressful and lonely, the information in the above article can help put things in perspective. Following these suggestions can help a young person adjust to the rigors of college life and succeed in getting a high quality education, and be prepared for the career of their choice.