College is a vital investment for your future. Going to college and earning a degree will expand your potential earnings, help you create professional connections and long-lasting relationships, experience independence and learn valuable skills that will help you succeed in life.
As a high school student, you need to get ready for college as early as you can. Transitioning to life in a university or college campus is one of the most memorable experiences you’ll have.
Here are some suggestions to help you take your higher education by storm:
1. Start Your College or University Search as Early as Possible
Choose the characteristics that are important for you in a college.
An example is admissions. If you want to become a UC Berkeley student, you’ll need to satisfy the university’s SAT and ACT requirements. You also have to look at the acceptance rate of UC Berkeley to determine your likelihood of getting into this school.
If doable, visit each of the university campuses you’re interested in to get a feel of campus life and find out what students think of the school. This will provide you with an opportunity to approach an admissions representative and ask questions.
2. Come up with a Good System to Manage Your Time
If you think that you’re overwhelmed with activities now, just wait until you enter college. You can expect your plate to be full. What’s more, your teachers and parents won’t tell you what subjects to focus on and when to do them.
This newfound independence comes with the responsibility of managing your time wisely.
While you’re still a high school student, get into the habit of setting a daily, weekly and monthly schedule. Download a time management app or purchase a planner to block out time for play, school and sleep.
Having a good time management system goes beyond helping you in college. This can also help you succeed in your career, as many jobs require you to manage your time well.
3. Work on Your Social Skills
No one’s asking you to become a party animal or an overnight extrovert. If you see yourself more as a wallflower than a social butterfly, though, you’ll want to practice branching out.
Think of communication as the glue that binds everything together. This will stay the same throughout life. Your relationships (or lack thereof) with your professors, students and other people on the campus all rely upon a connection.
You can gradually improve your social abilities by raising your hand and participating more often in class discussions. Just answer questions to the best of your abilities and stop worrying about what other students may think of you. Remember that if you want or need something, you’ll have to speak up for yourself.
4. Be Aware of the Latest COVID-19 Protocols
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic shaped the 2020-2021 school year into something nearly unrecognizable, as colleges and other educational institutions widely pivoted to remote learning, required everyone on campus to wear masks, implemented policies related to social distancing and enforced other rules to keep their respective communities safe.
Thanks to the continual rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, colleges have rolled back many of the pandemic-related policies. This doesn’t necessarily mean, however, a complete return to the pre-pandemic world.
Many colleges in the country are requiring COVID-19 vaccines for students. Those who choose not to get a jab will likely have to adhere to face-covering and social-distancing requirements. Some colleges, in fact, are charging unvaccinated students for coronavirus testing.
If you’re heading to campus next year, you’ll need to check for guidance from your chosen college to know what to expect.
5. Think About Getting a Part-Time Job
College is expensive. The expenses of studying in a university go beyond tuition and other student fees. Daily expenses account for a large chunk of a student’s college budget.
A part-time job helps ease budget strains. Take note, however, that this can also take time away from classes. If you’re thinking of getting part-time work, check if you’re eligible to participate in the federal work-study program.
Also, if you do plan to work and study at the same time, check with your family about financial expectations.
6. Contact Professors Before Classes Begin
Forming a strong relationship with professors can contribute to your success in college. Once you’ve chosen your classes, consider e-mailing several instructors or finding out if they can talk via a phone call or videoconferencing. When consulting with your professor, be respectful and mature in all communications.
Look at college as the next big adventure in your life. You’ll encounter challenges that are both rewarding and fun. As a high school student, you’ll need to make the necessary preparations both in and out of the classroom.