Making the transition from high school student to college student is no easy task. Everything is different, all the way from the classroom to the cafeteria. You will have to adjust to more rigorous homework and busier schedules. You will be getting to know a new roommate while making all new friends. You might even acquire new sleeping and eating routines. Here are a few tips to ease you into your new life as a college student.
The classroom of a college student is entirely different from the high school classroom. Whereas your high school teachers were probably laid back and moved at your pace, your college professors will only know one pace: fast! Your college professor will lecture through the entire hour, and will not stop to wait for students to catch up in their notes. And there is usually no such thing as “finishing early.” College professors typically cram as much information into one session as possible, and rarely dismiss class before the scheduled time. College professors also rely almost solely on the syllabus for homework assignments and the test schedule. You are expected to read your syllabus every day and to know when each assignment is due and when each test will be given. If you don’t read the syllabus, you will be out of luck. College professors see it as a waste of time to go over every homework assignment in class. They may not even remind you to turn in your assignments. You are just expected to do it!
Compared to your high school cafeteria where all of your meals were planned for you, your college cafeteria can seem like an overwhelming smorgasbord of options! But be careful! The dessert buffet might have everything from chocolate chip cookies to lemon cake to brownies, but if you indulge in everything, the Freshman Fifteen will sneak up on you faster than you can eat that cookie. The temptation to take advantage of all of the goodies that the cafeteria offers can be strong, but your body will go into shock if you change your eating habits too drastically. Yes, your eating schedule will certainly change as a college student. Some days you will barely have time to sneak in a bagel before you run to your first morning class. But there is no one to make sure you are getting the proper nutrition and balance in your meals like you had in high school. Only you can be responsible for your nutrition and diet as a college student.
If you had the luxury of your own personal room while living at home, then you will be making a lot of sacrifices in your dorm life. (If you don’t, life will be miserable for you and everyone around you!) Freshman dorms typically have one to two bathrooms per floor, and you will have to learn how to share showers and toilets. You may not get to take your morning shower at the exact time that you prefer. You may even need to take night showers instead of morning showers. Nothing is solely yours, anymore, not even your bedroom space. Freshman dorm rooms are small and crowded, and your roommate will be unpacking just as much stuff as you into that small room. If you are lucky, you might be able to call your mattress your very own private space. But just wait until your roommate has his buddies over and they all decide to use your bed for a couch!
The transition from high school to college might seem overwhelming, but it is not insurmountable. With a little flexibility and a lot of determination, you will survive. And before you know it, you’ll be the one giving advice to incoming freshman.